Zabaleta set for fond send-off at City, Toure still in dark

Leroy Sane Manchester City Premier League

Manchester City are closing in on a Champions League place for next season, following a nervy 2-1 victory over Leicester.

Zabaleta, 32, one of seven players out of contract this summer, asked to leave and has received an offer from West Ham United.

The Premier League match against Albion will mark his final home appearance, and the club are planning tributes to mark the occasion.

It's not about taking that player and he has the personality of Zabaleta.

"Though there are a number of first-team player contracts now under consideration, Pablo's situation is the only one that has been fully finalised", said a club statement.

City need four points to be certain of a top-four finish and Guardiola is desperate to collect the first of those three against West Brom ahead of City's trip to Watford on Sunday.

The midfielder did not kick a ball for City until November and after he was left out of their Champions League squad his time looked up.

Since resolving the dispute and being recalled in December, Toure has proved himself a valuable player for City, and even though he turned 34 on Saturday, it is clear that he still has plenty to offer.

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Chelsea had to wait until eight minutes from the end before clinching the Premier League title at the Hawthorns last Friday with a 1-0 win and Guardiola reckons they will be just as keen to spoil City's European hopes.

Guardiola must decide whether to recall his 31-goal leading scorer Sergio Aguero to the starting line-up, having caused something of a surprise by naming him only as a substitute on Saturday.

Guardiola now faces the challenge of replacing a player whose leadership has been a defining influence behind the scenes whether he has been in the first XI or not.

What is the latest West Brom team news?

Zabaleta came on as a late substitute to help City survive a spirited comeback by Leicester after David Silva and Gabriel Jesus had given them a commanding two-goal lead.

"It was a slow start to the season but we picked up and it's been a fantastic journey and a fantastic ride", said Pulis. "Definitely. At the clubs I worked at before I am not here, but here we have a second chance and we will try to do it better than this season". In my situation at a big club - I'm sacked, I'm out.

"So after one season it's hard to judge and I'm sure Pep will be determined to be closer next season - in all the tournaments".

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