Sabatini eyes Manchester City’s Zabaleta

John Solano

With Dutch rightback Gregory Van der Wiel seemingly far from Rome, sporting director Walter Sabatini has turned his attention back to 31 year old Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta, according La Gazetta dello Sport.

Zabaleta, who’s contract expires in 2017, played just 22 games for the premier league side last season, and could leave Manchester for Rome for about 5 or 6 million euros. For now, the biggest obstacle for Roma is the Argentine’s step yearly salary of more than 3.5 million euros.

A more economical proposal could be made by Roma of €2.5 million yearly salary plus bonuses.

After losing his starting position to Bacary Sagna this past season, Zabaleta is looking for more guaranteed playing time as new City manager Pep Guardiola has asked for two new fullbacks this transfer window according to the Manchester Evening News. In recent weeks, he has also been linked with Inter and manager Roberto Mancini, who coached Zabaleta in Manchester.

Zabaleta began his career in Argentina for San Lorenzo before moving to Espanyol in Barcelona. Zabaleta has represented Argentina 54 times at senior level, playing the World Cup Final in 2014 and the Copa America Final in 2015. At youth level, he captained the Albiceleste to the 2005 World Youth Cup and helped them to the Gold Medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.