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City ready to pay up for Espanyol's Zabaleta

Espanyol have given Pablo Zabaleta permission to travel to Manchester City for a medical after the Premier League club offered to pay the Argentina international's eight million euro buy-out clause.

Espanyol had been hoping to keep hold of the 23-year-old right-sided defender, but after receiving City's offer late yesterday evening they have given Zabaleta the green light to push through a move to England.

A statement on the Espanyol website read: 'Espanyol have decided, taking into account the player must leave next Sunday to join up with his national team, to authorise the player to travel to Manchester to take a medical this Friday, while the English club deals with the documentation of the termination of the Argentinian full-back's contract with the Catalan team.

'Until this moment, Espanyol have tried to convince Zabaleta to continue in Barcelona, but the defender has shown his determination to continue his career in the Premier League.'

Zabaleta joined Espanyol from San Lorenzo in 2005 and has been a regular member of the Barcelona-based club's first team, helping them win the 2006 Copa del Rey.

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