West Ham Eye Manchester United Defender As Zabaleta Replacement


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West Ham United are eyeing a move for Manchester United defender Antonio Valencia according to the Daily Mirror.

The Hammers are currently in talks over extending the contract of experienced full-back Pablo Zabaleta, 34, but the Argentinean is contemplating retiring at the end of this season.

Manuel Pellegrini is contemplating a move for United’s Ecuadorian stalwart whose contract expires at the end of the season. Despite the 33-year-old’s preference to stay at Old Trafford, the Red Devils are not prepared currently prepared to extend his stay at the club.

Currently on £100,000 per week at the former Premier League champions, that salary can be accommodated by West Ham as Valencia will leave Old Trafford on a free transfer this summer.

It’s been a difficult final season in the North West with a series of knee injuries blighting his campaign. So far, Valencia has made five league appearances and three in the Champions League. It’s frustrating for a player who averaged 34 appearances in the first XI in his previous nine years at the club.

Zabaleta, meanwhile, is set to return to Manchester City after he was offered a coaching role at the Etihad. Unfailingly consistent during his time with the Cityzens, the club’s hierarchy holds him in high regard and is keen to tap into his experience.