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Pablo Zabaleta reveals West Ham was his 'first choice'

  • Pablo Zabaleta signed a two-year deal with West Ham on Friday
  • The defender was released by Manchester City at the end of the season
  • Argentine rejected offers from Spain and Italy to move to the Hammers 

By James Dutton For Mailonline

Published: 12:53 BST, 27 May 2017 | Updated: 14:35 BST, 27 May 2017

Pablo Zabaleta rejected offers from Italy and Spain to join West Ham and insists he has the passion to play a big part in the club's future.

The Argentine defender joined the Hammers on a free transfer on Friday after he was released by Manchester City at the end of the season.

The right back has put pen-to-paper on a two-year contract, believed to be worth £90,000 a week. 

Pablo Zabaleta insists that West Ham was his first choice after leaving Manchester City
Pablo Zabaleta insists that West Ham was his first choice after leaving Manchester City

Pablo Zabaleta insists that West Ham was his first choice after leaving Manchester City

The right back has put pen-to-paper on a two-year contract at the London Stadium 
The right back has put pen-to-paper on a two-year contract at the London Stadium 

The right back has put pen-to-paper on a two-year contract at the London Stadium 

It makes the 32-year-old the first major summer signing for Slaven Bilic.

And speaking to the club's website, he is looking forward to the challenge: 'I'm not a young player, but sometimes in football it's all about passion as well and that's something that I have still got inside me as a football player, to keep enjoying this wonderful professional.

'I've been playing [a long time] and have experience in my whole career so it's good to come here and use my experience to help the young lads to continue to develop. 

'I know West Ham is a great club at working with its Academy and we have seen so many players coming through to the first team, and so many big names in the West Ham era.

The Argentine defender is set to be paid in the region of £90,000 a week at West Ham
The Argentine defender is set to be paid in the region of £90,000 a week at West Ham

The Argentine defender is set to be paid in the region of £90,000 a week at West Ham

'That's why I'm so pleased and happy to be part of that and I will try to give everything to make sure I can to help the club to make a step forward.'

The Premier League title-winning defender insists the London Stadium was always his first choice after ending his nine-year stay with City.

'It is true that I got a few offers from clubs from Italy, some interest also coming from Spain and also from England.

'Of course that decision came also by thinking about my family. I expressed myself to them that to keep playing in the Premier League was a priority. 

'I love the Premier League so much. Of course West Ham has always been my first choice and the reason that it is a fantastic club and I have a lot of respect.'

Zabaleta spent nine years at the Etihad Stadium, making in excess of 300 appearances
Zabaleta spent nine years at the Etihad Stadium, making in excess of 300 appearances

Zabaleta spent nine years at the Etihad Stadium, making in excess of 300 appearances

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