West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has admitted the club are trying to find a solution to their right-back problem.
Zabaleta is the only fit first team player at the position, with Ryan Fredericks and Sam Byram out injured.
There are seven games in December and Pellegrini said West Ham know Zabaleta cannot play in them all, Football London report.
There is a solution out there for the Hammers, but it is a bit of a desperate move.
Former Hammers talent Glen Johnson is a free agent, and West Ham could look to bring him in on a short-term deal.
Johnson is six months older than Zabaleta at 34, and may be able to do a job on a short term basis.
He is unlikely to be worse than Patrice Evra was last season, but the risk is that he is no better.
Johnson was released by Stoke in the summer and the former England right-back is still without a club.
West Ham need to work out why this is. Has he lost his motivation? Does he have an injury? Or has the right offer just not come along?
If he is waiting for the right deal, then there is unlikely to be anything better coming his way than a return to his former side.
Now 34, Johnson left West Ham in 2004 to join Chelsea, going on to win the title before joining Portsmouth, Liverpool and Stoke.
It is an extreme move for West Ham to take, yet they really have very few options, and might have to explore the free agent market, as they have not been afraid to do so before.
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