While football scribes focused on the ‘irreplaceable’ aspect in Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s recent comments on the future of Sergio Aguero, most missed highlighting that the star man might exit and the club is already looking for a replacement come Summer 2020.
Sergio Aguero is a legend at the Etihad Stadium. With 244 goals in 355 appearances for Man City, he is also in the top three most lethal strikers in Premier League history. But in recent times, the Argentine hitman has seen Gabriel Jesus preferred over him in the starting line-up.
Heads Up! Guardiola’s subtle hint on Aguero departure
- Praising Aguero as irreplaceable
- Hints at Man City already looking for a replacement
- Preference of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling
- Putting the onus on Sergio Aguero
- Potential suitors for Aguero
In the recent press conference before Man City’s disappointing 3-2 loss to Wolves, Pep Guardiola opened up on Aguero’s future at the Blues. The subtle Guardiola ensured that his comments came out more positive than negative. Consequently, most football writers focussed on his praise for Aguero, which can’t be denied.
However, the Man City manager’s comments also had a subtle hint on what’s cooking down at the club.
Aguero’s future at Manchester City
The Argentine entered the last 18 months of his contract at the Etihad which is set to expire in June 2021. Guardiola praised Aguero saying that replacing him will be ‘one of the toughest things’ for Man City. However, the star striker was left on the bench for the Wolves game.
Guardiola also remarked that Aguero’s crucial injury-time winner against Queens Park Rangers in 2012 which helped Man City lift their first Premier League trophy of the era was the ‘most important moment’ for the club. However, what most overlooked was the subtle way in which Guardiola explained how there will be a new name joining the ‘incredible striker’ Gabriel Jesus when Aguero leaves.
Pep Guardiola unsure whether Aguero will sign a new deal
In other words, Guardiola is sure that this will not happen. Aguero’s departure rumours have come up quite a bit in the recent times. The growing preference of Guardiola to play Gabriel Jesus is also no secret.
However, the Man City manager knows that replacing the 31-year-old will not be an easy task. Furthermore, when Guardiola says he is unsure regarding a new contract for Aguero, and putting the onus on the player to make the final call, its reminiscent of how things panned out for the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimović and Samuel Etoo at Barcelona during his tenure.
Guardiola said, “I don’t know. He can stay. It depends on his physical condition and his desire, but I didn’t speak with him and I don’t know his intentions.”
The Man City manager hasn’t had talks about the future of one of his top players which is a bit hard to digest. Surely Guardiola will not say that about Kevin De Bruyne.
Sooner or later it’s going to happen
With these words, Guardiola said that ‘he (Aguero) will decide when’ he quits Man City. However, becoming a second choice won’t be to the star’s liking. Hence, it looks like Pep Guardiola is putting the onus on Aguero to take a stand and say goodbye as and when he gets tired of being left out of the starting line-up.
Furthermore, Guardiola said that Man City will be ‘ready to try to find the guy to try to replace Sergio’. While the ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager said that “These kind of players like Sergio decide if they want more or it’s over”, he also said that “Sometimes I (Pep) have to take a decision…”
Next Stop for Aguero in Summer 2020
While Guardiola was not direct, there is growing sense that he wants to move on from the Sergio Aguero era at Man City. Aguero along with David Silva and Vincent Kompany make up the old guard at the club. But Guardiola has increasingly preferred to start with Gabriel Jesus or Raheem Sterling at the top.
Guardiola has increasingly preferred to start with Gabriel Jesus or Raheem Sterling at the top.
Aguero will no doubt find an abundance of suitors. PSG and Inter Milan have been in the running to woo the hitman for quite some time. Real Madrid mellowed down their Aguero pursuit but if goal scoring continues to be a problem in the post-Ronaldo era come May, then Aguero will find himself welcome at the Bernabéu.
It will be interesting to see if Aguero hits one of his extremely potent purple patches in the second half of the season thus forcing Guardiola to rethink. But from the recent subtle remarks from Guardiola, a summer 2020 exit for Aguero looks likely.