Manchester, May 14 (IANS) Manchester City have announced that veteran right-back Pablo Zabaleta will leave the English football giants 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.