Sergio Aguero has told Manchester City that he is willing to see out his career at the Etihad, putting aside any thought of moving to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
The Argentina striker, 27, is set to sign a contract extension until 2020 that will reinforce his status as one of the key players of the coming Pep Guardiola era at City, and The Independent understands the player’s relationship with the club is now so strong he is prepared to stay until he retires.
Aguero’s long-term desire for a move back to Spain had weighed on the minds of City officials. He is close friends with Lionel Messi, who considers him one of the best players in the world, and had been open to a move to Barcelona. Real was also an appealing option, for both lifestyle and family reasons, for a player who spent five years in Madrid with Atletico.
Barcelona attempted to sign Aguero in 2014, switching their interest to Luis Suarez only after City’s refusal. The Catalan hierarchy at City has worked hard to build a strong relationship with Aguero, who feels a bond with the fans and is reportedly excited about working with new manager Guardiola next season.
It helps that when City show presentations to potential clients or business partners, Aguero’s famous goal against Queen’s Park Rangers to clinch the 2011-12 Premier League title in the last minute forms a central part, emphasising his place in the club’s history and future.
His long-term commitment could influence City’s transfer plans, his role as the primary centre-forward making it less likely they will pursue options such as Robert Lewandowski, who is at Guardiola’s current club Bayern Munich. City may seek back-up to Aguero, but will prioritise midfield in the summer.
Aguero signed for City from Atletico in the summer of 2011 for £38m. He immediately helped them win the first of two Premier League titles, and has also won the 2014 League Cup as well as scoring 124 goals in 188 games.
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