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Il Tempo: Pablo Zabaleta close to joining Roma in £2.5m deal

Pablo Zabaleta’s future is in his own hands. According to Il Tempo, a daily Italian newspaper published in Rome, Manchester City will not stand in Zaba’s way should he decide on a new adventure in Italy.

City are willing to let 31-year-old Zabaleta join Roma a modest fee of around £2.5 million, but the player himself has yet to give his approval. He was recently given a deadline to decide whether he wants to join Roma, but there seems to be a growing feeling that he will accept the proposal.

Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini wants Zabaleta ‘at all costs’ and the Roman club is offering him a three-year deal worth around €3 million net. Roma already have alternatives lined up should Zabaleta decide to stay at City or join another club, but it is the Argentine they want to improve their squad for a title push and Champions League run next season.

Whatever he decides, Pablo Zabaleta will go down as a Manchester City legend, an important part of a whole new era of success. Signed a day before the Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008 for a bargain fee of around £6.5 million, Zaba grew with the club and made the right-back position his own for years.

Last season, it became clear he was struggling and now may be the best time for him to move to a less demanding league. Zabaleta’s agent Federico Pastorello has said on several occasions that Italy appeals to him, and we now wait to learn if Zaba will say goodbye to the Mancunian life he has embraced for the past eight years.

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