Guardiola begins clear out: Pablo Zabaleta off to West Ham United, Kelechi Next

Guardiola begins clear out: Pablo Zabaleta off to West Ham United, Kelechi Next

Manchester City stalwart Pablo Zabaleta is heading to West Ham as Pep Guardiola’s clear-out at the Etihad Stadium starts in earnest.

Up to a dozen players could be leaving this summer, with highly-rated Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho among them as Borussia Dortmund show an interest.

Zabaleta, 32, was given a huge ovation by City fans when he appeared as a late substitute in Saturday’s 2-1 win against Leicester City.

The popular Argentine, who signed from Espanyol as City were taken over by their Abu Dhabi owners in 2008, is understood to have agreed a two-year deal with West Ham after their manager Slaven Bilic beat off competition.

City said on their official website: ‘Pablo is out of contract in the summer and has informed the club he will move to pastures new.

‘He leaves behind many happy memories. With 332 appearances made since his bargain £6.5million move from Espanyol, Zaba joined City the day before it was announced Sheikh Mansour was the club’s new owner. Only Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany have been with the Blues longer.’

It starts a summer of change as Guardiola tries to build a team in his own image after the first trophyless season of his managerial career.

Five other players — Jesus Navas, Willy Caballero, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Yaya Toure — are out of contract, while there appears no future for Joe Hart, Eliaquim Mangala, Wilfried Bony, Samir Nasri or Jason Denayer, who have spent this season away on loan.

City are also willing to listen to offers for 20-year-old Iheanacho, once tipped for the top by former manager Manuel Pellegrini but who has been overshadowed under Guardiola by £27m signing Gabriel Jesus.


Culled from Mail Sport

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