Zabaleta hopes for Tevez stay

Published Dec. 19, 2010 7:49 p.m. ET

Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta still hopes wantaway striker Carlos Tevez will stay at the club.

Zabaleta's Argentinian compatriot stunned City by handing in a transfer request last week and his future at Eastlands has now been shrouded in doubt.

Tevez is expected to play against Everton on Monday night in the Premier League despite revealing his desire to leave City.

But in the long term, Zabaleta is hoping his team-mate can be persuaded to stay on.

"My one wish is that Carlos stays in Manchester. I say this not just because he is my friend, but because he is important to City's development," he said in the Daily Mirror.

"I believe that Carlos has been good for City and City have been good for Carlos.

"Maybe he wasn't loved enough at (Manchester) United, but he is loved here and I think that has helped him become an even better player.


"No-one should question Carlos' attitude. His pride will not allow him to give less than 100 per cent in everything he does. All the players feel the same - that Carlos is one of us - and I think the fans love him as a player and as a man. He is their hero.

"I know Carlos very well and he always seems happy to be at City and happy with the way the team is progressing.

"Of course we have to accept Carlos' opinion. He knows what he wants for himself and for his family, but I hope that the club can find an answer to the questions he has."

Zabaleta reveals that he only found out about Tevez's request to leave the club when he was spending some time off in Spain.

"I was given two days off after the game against West Ham so I was spending some time in Spain when I heard that Carlos had asked to leave," he added.

"I was sent a text by a friend in England, and at first I didn't believe it because I had no idea that this was in Carlos' mind.

"There has been no change in him, no sign that he is unhappy. Nobody knew.

"We will see what happens in January but my own opinion is that Carlos will stay. I just can't see him leaving Manchester City because there is so much to achieve for him here.

"When he came here he told me he wanted to make history for the club."

Zabaleta will be hoping to start against the Toffees on Monday as Roberto Mancini's men look to keep up the pressure at the top of the table.

The 25-year-old versatile South American admits that he is prepared to do any job his manager asks him, saying the team is the most important thing.

He said: "I am ready to play in any position the manager wants me because I am a professional.

"I always give the best I can for the team and hope that is enough.

"We have so many top players here that you do whatever it takes to stay in the team.

"If the manager came to me and said 'Pablo, we have a problem and I want you to play as goalkeeper', then I would prepare the best that I could.

"That's what you accept when you sign a contract for a club - to do what is asked of you for the good of the team.

"I have heard stories that other clubs like me, but my head is focused on doing my best for Manchester City."