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Man City legend Pablo Zabaleta in talks over emotional Etihad return

PREMIER LEAGUE By Mirror | March 13th 2021
Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta celebrates his goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

Manchester City legend Pablo Zabaleta is in talks with the club about returning to the Etihad.

Zabaleta, the 36-year-old Argentine defender who spent nine years with the Blues, has been looking at his options for the future after retiring at the end of last season following a spell with West Ham.

He has been studying for his coaching badges – but will continue to negotiate with City about what roles are open to him after spending lockdown in Barcelona with his wife and two young children.

Zabaleta is also open to working at executive level – and could even become a presence in Spain for all 11 clubs connected to the City Football Group.

Zabaleta said: “The City Football Group have said they would like me to return in some capacity.

“Maybe at the end of June, when my kids have finished school and we have a better picture of the pandemic, that will be the moment for me to decide.

Pablo Zabaleta (R) jumps with West Ham United's Ecuadorian striker Enner Valencia (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England on April 19, 2015. [AFP PHOTO / STEVE PARKIN]

“I spent nine years at City. I liked the people at the club and I would be so happy to go back in some role.

“Coaching is something I'm thinking about – but it isn't the only thing.

“There are so many areas within a football club. Maybe if there was a possibility to work for the club and continue to live in Spain, that would be good for me personally and professionally.

“I have done my B licence and had a few calls from different managers asking me to join their staff. But it wasn't the right moment.

“I am open to different situations, but my family is happy and settled in Barcelona so maybe a role that allows me to work from here is possible.

“England is only two hours away on a plane so once we are free to travel again the options will become clearer."

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