Guardian: Messi asks Zabaleta about City life
- 26 November 2013 09:11
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
An Argentinian forward is dominating the back pages this morning, and for once it isn’t Sergio Aguero.
Pablo Zabaleta has been quoted in the Guardian explaining how he and Lionel Messi have been talking about life at City, which is only adding weight to the speculation that the Barcelona star could be on his way out of the Nou Camp.
While there is no suggestion Zaba is hunting for a new role as Head of Recruitment, he counts Messi as a close friend and the two have plenty of time to swap anecdotes while on international duty.
Daniel Taylor writes: “Messi's future at Camp Nou has been the subject of speculation after Barcelona's president, Sandro Rosell, was forced to deny that Cristiano Ronaldo's new five-year deal worth €17m (£14m) a year had moved the Argentinian – who has a €250m (£208m) release clause and earns €16m a year – to demand a review of his current agreement, which ends in 2016.
“Zabaleta, who joined City in 2008 from Espanyol, said: ‘I remember when we were in Barcelona we were very close friends because we were living in the same city and had known each other for a number of years. I was just starting out at Espanyol and Lionel was at Barça. When I signed for City I think two days later the news broke that Sheikh Mansour had bought the club and Lionel always recalls that I joined at such a fantastic time.
"‘He asked me a lot about City but I couldn't tell him much because I didn't know much myself – but it's something we often talk about. Plus the fact that I'm still here.’"
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have netted 18 times in the last three home games, with City’s attack force looking virtually unstoppable.
Although away form has been mixed, the England midfielder is confident results will improve under the new boss.
Milner is quoted in the Telegraph as saying: “The longer we are together, you will only see us improve. You know how much of a change it is when you go in to a new club as a manager and the players have to get to know you and what you want. The more time we have together, the better we will get.
“Things are going well for us at home – the chances seem to be going in. I don’t think we are playing too differently at home to the way we are away, but we are not getting the luck and the momentum is not quite with us at the moment.
“At home we are playing really well and, hopefully, that bit of luck and the chances that are going in for us at home will start going in for us when we are on our travels.”
Finally, @finallymario. The striker hit the headlines yesterday with a series of tweets which could be interpreted as hints Mario will be departing Milan in the January transfer window, but club Vice-President Adriano Galliani is fairly confident that won’t be the case.
Declaring himself “101 per cent certain” (so, pretty certain then) Balotelli will remain at the San Siro in 2014, Galliani’s words will disappoint reported suitors Chelsea – according to the Daily Express.
Reports David Wright: “Chelsea have been in pursuit of the former Manchester City forward as out-of-favour Demba Ba looks set to leave Stamford Bridge, and Balotelli has added fuel to the rumours after reportedly turning up late for training two days in a row.
"I don't know anything about it," said Galliani.
"Training was at 11.30, he got there before 11. I don't know what time they were supposed to meet up - you'll have to ask the coach.
"Is Balotelli unhappy? He will stay, I'm 101 per cent certain about that. He's our centre-forward, it's just one of those moments."
The many moments of Mario!
That’s it for today, but see you for more of the same tomorrow…