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Pablo Zabaleta: I was close to joining Roma from Manchester City, then Pep Guardiola…

Pablo Zabaleta has revealed that he was all set to join Roma in 2016 before Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City and decided to keep the veteran right-back.

Roma had a serious interest and made moves to sign Zaba in the summer of 2016 with reports suggesting he was on a verge of a move to the Italian capital.

Zabaleta has revealed to Sky Italia that he had been offered a three-year deal and was keen to experience life in Italy, only for Guardiola to say he needed the City icon to stick around.

“I came close to joining Roma in the past,” Zabaleta told Sky Italia.

“They offered me a three-year contract and I thought that could be a positive experience for me.

“However, Guardiola took over at Manchester City and he told me that he needed me to stay so, in the end, I didn’t join Roma.

“It’s a decision I took with my heart even though I’ve always thought that I’d like to play in Italy one day.”

Had Zabaleta made the move, he could be lining up alongside fellow title-winners Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov in Rome, but fate (or Pep Guardiola) had a different plan and he is instead in England’s capital playing for West Ham.

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