Few players in Manchester City’s entire history have been loved quite as much as Pablo Zabaleta. The 32-year-old joined the club a day before the Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008, and in the nine years since has been an important player as City have embarked on a new era of success.
Unfortunately, time catches up with every footballer and the Argentine international has slowed down significantly, and is out of contract at the end of the season. With City looking to sign new full-backs, Tottenham’s Kyle Walker apparently being the chosen one for right-back, Zabaleta’s future looks to be away from the Etihad.
News that Jesus Navas has been offered a one-year contract specifically to be a right-back makes it seem even more certain that Zaba is on his way out, and the Sunday Mirror is claiming that he is ready to leave after not receiving the two-year deal he was hoping for.
Zabaleta has been speaking about his future and as expected his comments were completely professional, though do seem to imply that this could be his final season at City.
“I have a special relationship with City. I have been here nine seasons and my love for City is huge,” Zabaleta told the press.
“But in football you have to make tough decisions sometimes and I have to make a decision that is the best for myself and hopefully for the club.
“We are waiting until the end of the season. All the players are focused on trying to finish as well as we can and secure a Champions League spot.
“We all know that some players will be leaving, but at this moment the most important thing is to think about the club.”
It will be a very sad day when Pablo Zabaleta leaves Manchester City and if it is to be at the end of the season, many Blues will hope it is known in advance so he can be given a proper send-off in the remaining fixtures of the season.