West Ham full-back Pablo Zabaleta has opened the door to joining a club in Italy in the near future after admitting that he has always wanted to try his luck in the Serie A.
The former Manchester City defender, who won two Premier League titles at the Etihad Stadium, also explained how he was talked out of a switch to AS Roma by Pep Guardiola upon the manager's arrival to City back in 2016.
Despite admitting that his decision to reject Roma's offer isn't a regret, Zabaleta has hinted that he could still move to Italy before he hangs up his boots for good.
"I came close to joining Roma in the past," Zabaleta told Sky Italia (via Calciomercato). "They offered me a three-year contract and I thought that could be a positive experience for me.
"However, Guardiola took over at Manchester City and he told me that he needed me to stay so, in the end, I didn’t join Roma.
Just a reminder. Zabaleta is out of contract at the end of the season. Never too early to start the campaign for a new one year deal. The guy has been nothing but class for us.— Mark Harrison (@MarkHarrison23) September 29, 2018
”It’s a decision I took with my heart even though I’ve always thought that I’d like to play in Italy one day."
Zabaleta's comments seem perfectly timed as his contract with West Ham expires at the end of this season, a fact that means clubs from across Europe can approach the 33-year-old over his next move as early as January.
However, it is highly unlikely that the Argentina international will be given the chance to link up with former Manchester City teammate Aleksandar Kolarov in Rome due to the Giallorossi's depth in that position, with Alessandro Florenzi and Rick Karsdorp already in their ranks.