Pablo Zabaleta to leave Manchester City

Manchester City has announced that veteran right-back Pablo Zabaleta will leave the English football giant at the end of his contract this summer, ending a nine-year association with the club.

Pablo Zabaleta plays with a child before the Manchester City's match against Leicester City.   -  Reuters

Manchester City has announced that veteran right-back Pablo Zabaleta will leave the English football giant at the end of his contract this summer, ending a nine-year association with the club.

“The 58-times capped Argentina international has informed the club he will move to pastures new, but leave behind many happy memories,” City said in a statement on Saturday.

The 32-year-old has made 332 appearances since his bargain 6.5 million pound ($7.6 million) move from Espanyol.

Along with goalkeeper Joe Hart and central defender Vincent Kompany, Zabaleta is one of the long-serving members of City.

He was part of City’s English Premier League-winning teams in 2011-12 and 2013-14 — the first one coming after a gap of 43 seasons. He also won one FA Cup and two League Cups.

There are reports that the Argentine will join London-based West Ham United next season.

Apart from him, five other City players — Jesus Navas, Willy Caballero, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Yaya Toure, are out of contract this summer and the club could see more departures.

Kompany hailed Zabaleta as a “true warrior” in his tribute on Twitter.

“Battling together for 9 years. Massive respect to @pablo_zabaleta. True warrior and Man City legend. #ManCity #OnceABlueAlwaysABlue,” the Belgium captain wrote.

  Dugout videos