Zabaleta to leave Man City at end of season

Posted May 17, 2017

"The final weeks of the season have been tough, but we could win against Leicester and I'm very happy for these three important points", he said.

Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker is one of the favourite's to replace Zabaleta at City, with the full-back having fallen out of favour with Mauricio Pochettino.

The manager indicated last week that he had already decided whether to keep Yaya Toure, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Willy Caballero, Jesus Navas and Tosin Adarabioyo. "We played two finals against Crystal Palace and Leicester, we have two more and hopefully the players are focused and committed".

"I have a lot of respect for Pablo", Guardiola told a news conference yesterday.

"Tony Pulis' teams don't play thinking it doesn't matter".

He will end his first season at City trophyless, though, and he is grateful the Premier League side are sticking by him regardless of their somewhat underwhelming results in 2016-17. He has helped the club to where it is right now.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Guardiola said: "Zabaleta's impact here was awesome".

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Centre-back John Stones, however, has recovered from a muscle problem. At the end of the season we will speak about this (contracts).

"We arrived at times to the byline but the last pass was not properly good and we missed the chances to nearly the finish the game".

Pablo Zabaleta of Manchester City (L) looks dejected after the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium on January 21, 2017 in Manchester, England.

Throughout the season there have been suggestions that Guardiola should change his playing style to "adapt" to the Premier League.

"Gabriel is a guy who understands perfectly - he's a young player, 19-years-old - still has a lot, a lot of things to improve".

Arsenal put more pressure on Liverpool with a 4-1 win over Stoke to pull within one point of the top four with two games left. As a player, I've given everything and I love Manchester as a city and I've had my best moments as a player here at the club.

Asked to clarify that at Barcelona and Bayern he would have been sacked, an irritated Guardiola said: "Yeah, because I have to win".