Potential West Ham blow as star reportedly will call it quit come season-ending

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West Ham United right-back Pablo Zabaleta wants to hang his boots at the end of the season, according to Spanish newspaper Sport

The Argentine defender will turn 34 in January, and isn't keen on extending the two-year deal he signed last summer upon leaving Manchester City for the Hammers. 

Zabaleta has been a key part of the West Ham squad since arriving, featuring in 46 league games till date and isn't showing signs of slowing down yet. 

However, the former Espanyol man will most likely return to Barcelona in order to be with his wife Christel Castano, a Catalan journalist and model.

Zabaleta has 15 years of professional football under his belt and was a huge part of the Manchester City side that won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup during his nine years at the club. 

The former Argentina international also made the PFA Team of the Year in the 2012-13 season, and was arguably the best in his position in the top-flight during his heyday.

West Ham currently have Ryan Fredericks as their other option at right-back, but the summer arrival is yet to fully convince. 

He has started three games and made a substitute appearance in the league thus far, and he surely has a lot to learn from the departing Zabaleta. 

It remains to be seen if the Hammers are ready for the potential departure of the South American, but they will surely miss his versatility and experience without a doubt. 

Manager Manuel Pellegrini will have to look into the market for a replacement for the veteran and legend as early as the January transfer window.

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