Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Balague claims bid for Zabaleta

Guillem Balague, the Catalan transfer oracle, has reported that City have made an €8million (£6.3million) bid for Espanyol's Olympic Gold winning right back Pablo Zabaleta.

"The player, alongside his agent, has a meeting with Espanyol officials in Barcelona today, where City's offer will be discussed. The player has requested that the Barcelona based club listen to offers for him and respect his wishes, and while he has not yet expressed a preference, Manchester City are currently offering higher wages than Juventus, their rivals for his signature."

I imagine this is from the same story as this article in this morning's Sport, a daily paper based in Barcelona. This states that Zabaleta is meeting today with Espanyol Sporting Director Paco Herrera to discuss his future. Zabaleta is aware of interest, although Herrera claims to have received no offers. Any suitable offer would seem likely to see the player depart: his release clause is €8million and he is interested in moving.

This is not the first time we've been linked with Zabaleta. We first saw the rumour over two months ago, on I blogged about Zabaleta HERE. After a quite period of a month, the story re-appeared in The Sun late July. And after another month away, it's back today.

As much as I love transfers, I fear this could signal the departure of Corluka. I'm all for squad depth, but we already have Charlie, Onuoha and Richards who can play right back. Cook made clear in his famous interview that Corluka was not sold because Hughes could not bring in a better replacement (something that completely contradicts Hughes' account). So unless Zabaleta is being brought in to play right midfield (which is not beyond the realms of possibility), this could conceivably re-ignite the Corluka story.

If you want to read what I wrote about Zabaleta two months ago, a bit of back story etc, it's HERE.

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