Man City news: Juventus-linked Pep Guardiola to stay with Premier League champions long-term, says Pablo Zabaleta – Goal
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Man City news: Juventus-linked Pep Guardiola to stay with Premier League champions long-term, says Pablo Zabaleta – Goal

The Argentine defender has backed his former manager to remain at the Etihad Stadium amid rumours he could depart for Serie A this summer

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will stay in charge of the club for the foreseeable future regardless of any speculation, according to Pablo Zabaleta.

The Spaniard has been touted as a possible replacement for Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri at the end of the season, but he quickly dismissed those rumours following a Premier League win over Watford last month.

The 48-year-old coach has been in charge at the Etihad Stadium since 2016 – winning three major trophies – and he is on course for more silverware come May.

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City are currently top of the Premier League by a point ahead of Liverpool and they also have an FA Cup final to look forward to against Watford as the 2018-19 campaign draws to a close.

A domestic treble is on the cards for Guardiola and his star-studded team, which does not surprise his former charge Zabaleta.

The West Ham full-back played under his stewardship at the Etihad during his first year in charge and he expects the City manager to remain in Manchester for many years to come.

“Last season, the way City won the league, they have been playing some of the best football we have seen in the last few years in the Premier League,” Zabaleta told The Offside Rule Exclusives.

‘I’m sure that he will stay at Manchester City, he will keep improving the team and keep winning trophies.”

Zabaleta is now a seasoned Premier League performer at 34, but he has still been a vital cog in Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers side this season.

He spent nine years with City before moving onto pastures new, having been one of the club’s first marquee signings following a lucrative Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008.

Despite winning two league titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup during that time, Zabaleta is still haunted by City’s trophyless first year with Guardiola.

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“He’s very good, he’s one of the best managers for sure,” he added. “I spent one season with him, the first season for Pep in England. We did some amazing stuff, but also we made a few mistakes that cost us winning the Premier League or the Champions League.

“For a club like Manchester City finishing the season without trophies is something that, as a player, hurts. When you’re there, you play to win trophies.”

City are back in Premier League action on Sunday, with a difficult trip to take in at Burnley as this year’s title race nears its thrilling conclusion.

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