Manchester City confirm Pablo Zabaleta will leave at end of season
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 14/05/17 8:17am
Pablo Zabaleta will leave Manchester City at the end of the season, the club have confirmed.
The veteran Argentina full-back's contract is expiring this summer and he will depart as the third longest serving player, having signed in August 2008 just eight days after Vincent Kompany.
The two-time Premier League winner told Sky Sports this week that he was not sure what City planned to do with his future but insisted his heart would always remain at the Etihad come what may.
A City statement following a 2-1 win at home to Leicester read: "Pablo has informed the club he will move to pastures new, but leave behind many happy memories.
"Fans will have the opportunity to show their appreciation for one of the Club's most loyal and loved servants of recent times against West Brom on Tuesday evening, which will be Pablo's last home appearance."
West Ham are among a number of clubs interested in the 32-year-old, who is looking for at least a two-year deal with his next club, which may prove to be the final move he makes in his 15-year career.
It began as a youth at his local Buenos Aires club of Obras Sanitarias before joining San Lorenzo and breaking into the first team there at 17 in 2002.
Zabaleta was snapped up by Spanish club Espanyol in 2005 and made his debut for Argentina the same year, but he was overlooked by Diego Maradona for the 2010 World Cup squad despite joining City in a £6.5m deal two years earlier.
He won his first trophy with City in 2011 - the FA Cup - before his first Premier League title under Roberto Mancini in 2012. Zabaleta then won the league and League Cup double under Manuel Pellegrini in 2014 and the League Cup again last season.
Six other City players see their contracts expire at the end of the season including Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Yaya Toure, Tosin Adarabioyo, Jesus Navas and goalkeeper Willy Caballero.
City said: "Though there are a number of first-team player contracts currently under consideration, Pablo's situation is the only one that has been fully finalised."