Sergio Aguero is to leave Manchester City to join Barcelona on a contract until the end of the 2022/23 season.
Barcelona say Aguero’s buyout clause is set at €100m (£86m) and have confirmed the striker will formally sign his contract this evening at 6pm local time, (5pm UK time). The club confirmed on Monday afternoon he had passed his medical.
He will also be presented at the Nou Camp and shall attend a press conference from 7pm (6pm UK time) on Monday. The forward will officially become a Barcelona player on July 1 after his City contract expires.
Aguero’s departure from the Etihad was announced at the end of March after Pep Guardiola informed City’s record goalscorer of the club’s decision not to renew his deal.
The 32-year-old, who was signed from Atletico Madrid in 2011, has been restricted in his appearances this season due to injuries and illness.
Aguero, one of the most influential players in the club’s history, leaves City after winning five Premier League titles, one FA Cup and six League Cups.
Despite helping reclaim the league title this season, Aguero bowed out after coming on as a substitute against Chelsea in the Champions League final, which his side lost 1-0 at the Estadio Do Dragao in Porto.
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City thank ‘legend’ Aguero
City confirmed the move in their own statement and thanked Aguero for his “incredible contrbution”.
“Sergio Aguero will join Barcelona when his Manchester City contract expires at the end of June,” City said.
“In March it was confirmed a statue of the City striker has been commissioned to stand alongside those currently in work to honour David Silva and Vincent Kompany. His legend will further be marked by the installation of dedicated and permanent mosaic at the City Football Academy.
“Everyone at Manchester City would like to take this opportunity to thank Sergio for his incredible contribution to our success over the last decade and wish him well on the remainder of his career.”
The Argentina international scored 260 goals in 390 appearances in all competitions under Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and Guardiola and leaves as the fourth-highest goalscorer in Premier League history and as City’s all-time record scorer.
Guardiola had paid an emotional tribute to Aguero after the striker’s double on the final day of the Premier League season against Everton, saying: “We love him so much – he is a special person for all of us. We can not replace him.”
Garcia to follow Aguero?
Eric Garcia is expected to follow Aguero in joining Barcelona this summer. The defender is a product of the La Masia academy and Guardiola brought him to the Etihad in 2017, but he made just six top-flight appearances this season.
Barcelona won the Copa del Rey but missed out on the La Liga title this season, finishing seven points behind league winners Atletico.
Aguero is set to link up with long-time Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp. Joan Laporta, the club’s president has said he is “moderately optimistic” over the prospect of Messi signing a new contract, while the Spanish club are also confident of securing the services of Georginio Wijnaldum, who appears set to leave Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Guardiola says he is planning on staying at City for the long term because the club “gives the manager everything he needs”, after the Spaniard guided the club to a third Premier League triumph under his tenure.
‘Barca confident of Aguero impact’
Analysis from Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero…
“It is not the same Aguero which shone for Manchester City a few seasons ago or even the one which played for Atletico Madrid here in La Liga.
“Barcelona have learned an important lesson. Last year they thought that Luis Suarez was not fit enough and was not a good striker for an important club.
“With Aguero 33-years-old next Wednesday, the feeling is that maybe he is not the person he was five or six years ago but that he can have an impact in two years at the club.
“They believe that the Argentinian is better than many strikers who have arrived over the last few seasons.
“No one wants to pay such a huge wage to Lionel Messi and it seems that the arrival of Aguero, one of his best friends in the world of football and close friends for the last 16 or 17 years, could be a huge step to make Messi stay at the club.”
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