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Manchester City suspect changes upon Guardiola arrival, says Zabaleta

Football Soccer - Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich - German Bundesliga - BayArena, Leverkusen, 06/02/16 Bayer Leverkusen's coach Roger Schmidt and Bayern Munich's coach Pep Guardiola in action REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
Football Soccer - Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich - German Bundesliga - BayArena, Leverkusen, 06/02/16 Bayer Leverkusen's coach Roger Schmidt and Bayern Munich's coach Pep Guardiola in action REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

REUTERS - Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta suspects there will be changes when new manager Pep Guardiola arrives during the close season but said the players are completely focussed on challenging for titles in the current campaign.

City last week announced that Guardiola, currently at German champions Bayern Munich, will take over from Manuel Pellegrini as manager from July.

"We need to deal with it. The club decided to announce this now after so many rumours, we really understand this. Now it's just time to finish in the best way we can do this season," Zabaleta told British media.

"We are all behind Manuel. He's been great for this football club. So he's continued in the way he has done for the last few years. Nothing changes for him. And then we'll see at the end of the season with the new manager coming in.

"We suspect changes but it's normal. Now is not the right time to talk about the future because there's a lot of time for this. We just need to be 100 per cent focused on the next games."

Following Saturday's 3-1 loss to fellow title contenders Leicester City, Zabaleta played down suggestions that the club have not been able to produce their best football when it mattered.

Saturday's meeting with Leicester was the seventh time the Blues played a side in the top six of the league this season, and the seventh time they failed to win.

"Every single game in this league is very hard. Every game is played in the same way. Sometimes you can win, sometimes you lose," the Argentina international said.

City, who have failed to win back-to-back league games since October, have slipped to fourth in the table and will hope to get their title charge back on track when they host second-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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