In Focus: Zabaleta deal hints at risky West Ham summer

According to TuttoMercatoWeb in Italy, West Ham have agreed a deal to sign Pablo Zabaleta from Manchester City this summer when his contract expires.

What’s the story?

With his deal due to end in a few months’ time, Zabaleta has been on the lookout for a new club for a while now, and TMW believe that he’s found his next employer in the shape of West Ham. Indeed, they claim that the Argentine has agreed to join the Hammers this summer on a three-year contract, which is quite a statement from the London club given that Zabaleta is now 32.

A natural right-back, the South American, who has won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup during his spell with Man City, could solve the issues Slaven Bilic has had in the position this term, with the Croatian having used midfielders Havard Nordtveit and Cheikhou Kouyate, as well as attacking winger Michail Antonio, among others to plug the hole this term.

What are West Ham doing this summer?

Although it’s all rumours at this stage, West Ham’s transfer policy seems to be getting proven players. Reports have indicated that both Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere are major targets, and if Zabaleta is added to this list it seems that the club are going for a high-risk strategy.

The aforementioned trio will all command big wages and have various drawbacks, such as age and injury-proneness, while Sturridge and Wilshere will likely cost sizable fees. Although such an approach could work, the club might be left paying plenty of cash for footballers with little sell-on potential.