West Ham United have signed Pablo Zabaleta on a two-year deal following the defender’s release from Manchester City, the London club have announced.
Zabaleta, 32, won two Premier League titles during his nine years at City, but leaves the Etihad Stadium this summer once his contract expires.
The Argentina international told his new club’s official website: “This is an absolute pleasure to be part of West Ham United Football Club.
“I hope I can give you good moments. Of course, I come to the Club to enjoy myself and hopefully we can have a very successful time.
“Sometimes a new challenge is all you need as a person and as a player. I thought my time at City was done. It’s been a fantastic nine years, absolutely brilliant.
“Manchester City gave me the opportunity to come to this wonderful league, the Premier League, something I’ve been enjoying a lot as a player and of course for me it was probably the right time to move on.
“Also, as a player, I thought I wanted to keep playing in the Premier League. For me, after being in this country for so long, this is a new challenge for me in the Premier League and I’m ready for it and looking forward to it.”
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic on Thursday appeared to suggest that he wants to make several key signings this summer after a disappointing second season in charge at the London Stadium.
Bilic told the club’s official website: “We need quality players. Of course you always need quality players but sometimes you are buying players for the future, sometimes you are buying players for the squad to be back-ups and all that, but we are good in that department.
“OK, we can talk about, if some of the players go, we can refresh the team with new players, but mainly we need the players who are going to improve the quality and be the game-changers.”