Yaya Toure: Strong chance Manchester City will offer midfielder a new contract

Despite Zabaleta's age it is rare that the opportunity to sign a two-time Premier League title victor on a free transfer comes along and, given the Hammers' troubles in the right-back department over the past couple of seasons, it seems a deal too good to pass upon.

They had taken 22 points from 10 games with Shakespeare in charge and during that period, only Tottenham had a better record. "The appreciation from the fans has been massive", he told reporters. I'm sure we are improving, for the next two games and for next season as well. "I don't think teams from Tony Pulis' history, Stoke and now West Brom, play a game thinking it doesn't matter".

"City had a big and ambitious project and this is why I made a decision to come".

So, for the moment, it's only Zabaleta who can really bid City farewell.

Pablo Zabaleta's farewell is likely to garner much of the attention as Manchester City host West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, but Pep Guardiola's side still have work to do to secure a Champions League place.

Guardiola believes City need more players with Zabaleta's commitment if they are to succeed in the future.

"When I first came to Manchester, I felt like when I was in Barcelona at Espanyol; we were not the main club in the city", Zabaleta said. I remember at that time Sir Alex Ferguson and the "noisy neighbours".

"We have not heard anything", he said.

"It's one of those debates that as players we'd love to get involved in but we're not allowed to so that's what makes it very frustrating as they aren't willing to listen".

It seemed as though the writing was on the wall earlier in the season when he was left out of the Citizens' Champions League squad but he has since forced his way back into Pep Guardiola's plans.

Toure will fall out of contract in six weeks time and it was thought that his time at the Etihad Stadium would come to an end, but it has been claimed that City are ready to offer the African ace fresh terms. In my situation at a big club: I am sacked.

City captain Vincent Kompany has led the tributes to Zabaleta, telling reporters: "He epitomises what the fans have loved about City for so many years, even before our era".

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