Friday, September 22, 2017

Zabaleta has Premier League offers as City finale nears

SoccerNews in English Premier League 18 May 2017

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Pablo Zabaleta says he has offers from clubs in the Premier League and in other countries as his Manchester City career draws to a close. 

Zabaleta, who is out of contract at the end of the season, played his last home game for the club in a 3-1 win over West Brom on Tuesday after announcing he will end his nine-year association with City.

West Ham have been linked with the Argentine, who joined City from Espanyol in 2008, and the 32-year-old said: “I have a few offers from teams in the Premier League, some offers from abroad. I am just thinking what is the best for me and my family.

“I have been in England for so many years. I am happy and I enjoy playing in the Premier League. We will see. I have offers from different countries. The Premier League is the greatest competition in the world.

“I have been playing here for so many years and that is my feeling. We will see what happens at the end of the season.

“It will be tough not to play for this shirt any more, but I think it is the right thing to do. It is time to move on. I will try to play a couple more years.

“I would not be the first player to leave a club after so many years and then come back in a different shirt for another club. If one day I come back to play against City it would be tough, but you have to accept it.

“I think everyone understands I have enjoyed some of my best football at this football club. Wherever I go I will try to do it with the same commitment and passion that I have done during my whole career. That is what football is all about. It is what we have to do as players.

“Barcelona will be the city I would like to go back to and live with my family when I have finished my career. But as a football player I still want to enjoy at least two more years.

“I left Argentina when I was 20. I was very young. At that time I was thinking I would go back there and enjoy my last few years as a player there. But then everything changes in life. I met my wife. She is from Barcelona. That is why I spent three great years in that city, so I am thinking to play two more years in Europe and then go back to Barcelona.”

Zabaleta won two Premier League titles, two EFL Cups and the FA Cup in his time with City, but was unable to secure Champions League success.

“Hopefully they can win it [the Champions League] one day because that is the competition we are looking for and this club is trying to win,” he added.

“We have been very successful in domestic competitions over the last few years but Champions League is one of the biggest competitions for the club. Hopefully one day the club can achieve it.”

Zabaleta’s final City game comes on Sunday when they visit Watford, seeking to seal third spot.

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