Pablo Zabaleta insists that Manchester City’s Argentinian players are happy to stay with the Premier League champions next season.
Zabaleta’s countrymen Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero have both had doubts raised about their future at City at some point this season, with Tevez in particular tipped to leave the Etihad Stadium after spending five months in exile.
Aguero has been linked with a move away from the Premier League with Real Madrid interested. Zabaleta, signed from Espanyol in 2008, has also been linked with Barcelona in the past.
However despite the transfer rumour mill creaking into action once more at the end of the season Zabaleta insists that all three are happy in Manchester currently.
“The three of us spend a lot of time together, Sergio [Aguero] lives five minutes away,” he told The Sun.
“It’s great for Carlos [Tevez], for Sergio, for me. We play together for the national team and I played with them in the youth teams.
“For us it’s a new experience here. Whenever you leave your country you learn a lot of things.
“The opportunity we have in England is making a big impact in our lives. The culture is different, the football is different, we are really enjoying it here. Manchester is one of the best places in the UK.”
In an interview last summer Tevez revealed his dislike for Manchester before he sparked controversy after refusing to come on as a substitute in City’s 2-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in September.
However the former Manchester United forward returned to action to play a crucial role in City’s title charge, while Aguero scored the wining goal on the final day of the season that secured the Citizens first league title in 44 years.
Aguero scored 23 goals in his first Premier League season, and Zabaleta says he is not surprised with how well his international colleague has taken to life in England.
“I know him as a player and a person. I knew before he came he would do very well,” he commented.
“He’s been one of our most important players. Sergio is a very funny lad, if you understand Spanish and hear everything he says, he’s so funny. He’s very happy and positive for the team.”