Sources: West Ham player involved today tells chiefs he won't be at club next season
Pablo Zabaleta has told West Ham chiefs he is not looking to return to the club next season, Football Insider can reveal.
The right-back, 35, has entered the final months of his contract and has contemplated retiring in the summer.
A West Ham source has told Football Insider that Zabaleta has no intention of pushing for a new deal and the club would not look to offer him one in any case.
It will mean a parting of the ways of the former Argentina international, who joined in the summer of 2017 on a free transfer from Man City.
Zabaleta secured a 12-month contract extension at the end of last season but he has been far more on the fringes in this campaign.
He has slipped to third in the Hammers’ right-back pecking order behind the injured Ryan Fredericks and rising star Jeremy Ngakia.
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The 19-year-old kept his place in the team for today’s Premier League clash against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium, with Zabaleta in the matchday squad but on the bench.
He has made six league starts among 13 appearances in all competition this season.
But his lack of pace and mobility has been a glaring issue in his recent performances and this is why West Ham pursued a new right-back so concertedly in January.
There was also an interest in Toulouse’s Kelvin Amian Adou, a 21-year-old who has been capped by France at Under-21 level.
The Hammers’ summer right-back plans are likely to be determined by whether the club are in the Premier League next season and if Ngakia is considered the long-term answer as competition for Fredericks.
In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that the club’s coaches have been stunned by amazing teenager emergence.