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Roma still want Pablo Zabaleta as Manchester City eye Arsenal right-back Héctor Bellerín

Manchester City’s interest in Arsenal right-back Héctor Bellerín has opened the door again for Roma to try and sign Pablo Zabaleta, according to today’s edition of Il Messaggero.

The Rome-based newspaper claims that Zabaleta was ‘very close’ to joining Roma in early July, but despite widespread reports of a move being imminent, nothing materialised and Zabaleta remains a City player.

Despite failing to sign him earlier this month, Roma have been encouraged by Pep Guardiola’s interest in Héctor Bellerín and believe that could revive their efforts to acquire Zaba, who has been their priority target to strengthen the right-back position this summer.

Arsenal are unlikely to sell 21-year-old Bellerín unless the player pushes for a move, and there have been no signs of that happening, despite his admiration for Pep Guardiola. Were a new right-back to arrive at the Etihad, it would be Zabaleta, not Sagna, who would make way, and Roma are still hopeful.

As things stand, City are heading into the new campaign with the same four 30-plus full-backs as last season, which would be quite surprising given the demands Pep Guardiola places on his full-backs. Spanish youngsters Angeliño (19, left-back) and Pablo Maffeo (19, right-back) have already impressed Guardiola in pre-season, giving the City boss two fresh options to consider.

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