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SPORT: Pablo Zabaleta to stay one more year at Manchester City

News of Pablo Zabaleta’s expected move to Roma has dried up lately. The latest information was that the deal had stalled for unknown reasons, and that while Roma hadn’t lost hope, they were starting to look at alternatives.

Tonight, SPORT has an article about the make-up of Pep Guardiola’s team next season. Much of it is speculation or based on current transfer rumours, but there is one interesting snippet.

According to SPORT’s own information, Zabaleta will remain at the Etihad for one more season as the understudy to the in-form Bacary Sagna. This is the first time it has been concretely reported than Zaba will stay at City, when a departure had seemed so inevitable. This news can’t be taken as fact, especially as long as links to Bruno Peres, Torino’s attacking right-back, continue, but author Pol Ballús believes this to be solid info.

On the opposite side, SPORT believes 19-year-old Spanish youngster Angeliño could be promoted if Kolarov’s move to Beşiktaş goes ahead. Guardiola is very enthusiastic about working with youngsters and has a much better selection at City than he had at Bayern Munich, whose academy set-up is floundering (and lost to City’s youngsters 6-0 on TWO occasions in recent years).

Other names are mentioned in SPORT’s article, but nothing that hasn’t been repeated many times across Europe now. The journalist shows particular interest in the midfield, because as it stands, City will start next season with the same four that completed the last campaign – Touré, Fernando, Fernandinho and Delph. Gündoğan will miss several weeks of the season, and it will be interesting to see if Guardiola, a known enthusiast of midfielders, will be content with these options.

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