West Ham defender set to trigger one-year contract extension
PUBLISHED: 12:36 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:36 03 April 2019
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Hammers star Pablo Zabaleta could stay at the club for another year
West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta has revealed he has a special clause in his contract that would enable him to stay at the club for another season.
The 34-year-old Argentinian’s deal ends in the summer, but he is set to trigger an extension to that if he plays just two more games this season.
“If I play in 60 per cent of the games, automatically the contract can extend for another season,” he confirmed.
“This is something I am not too far away from. If I play a few more games, I will have a chance to sit with the manager and the club and decide what to do.”
Zabaleta has currently played in 24 of the 37 games that West Ham have played this term which is 64.86 per cent, so even if he only plays twice in the last six games, he will still qualify for that extension.
“I haven’t decided what to do at the moment. There are still six games to go and I don’t want to rush myself or the manager,” he insisted.
“The club brought me in to play for two years and this is all I wanted because I am 34 now.
“If you look at this season and last season, I have been playing in around 80 per cent of the games, which is very good for someone of my age.
“They wanted a player to come in and fix that problem with the right-back, and so I did a job for the club. If I do stay then I would understand that I would have a different role in the team, not to play as much.
“I know in myself that I cannot play the same amount of games that I have for this season and last season.”
It would seem likely that manager Manuel Pellegrini would want the Argentinian around next term, especially as Ryan Fredericks has been unconvincing in his first season with the club.
Zabaleta’s experience would be hugely important and he could even combine playing with some coaching.
However, Manchester City are believed to be interested in bringing him back to The Etihad in a coaching role and that could sway his decision.
“Obviously I am 34, so if I am staying, the manager has to be happy to have me around and then we will decide,” he said.