October 24, 2021

‘With these prices it’s impossible’ – Guardiola says Man City may not sign Aguero replacement

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The Premier League leaders have been linked with the likes of Erling Haaland and Harry Kane but they may not be in a position to splash the cash

Pep Guardiola says that Manchester City may not sign a striker in the summer after it was confirmed that Sergio Aguero will leave the club at the end of the season.

The City boss admitted it would be difficult to replace the club’s record goalscorer despite Aguero missing much of the season through injury and for Covid-19 reasons.

Finances at sides around the world have been affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and Guardiola says City are no different, which could affect their summer plans.

What’s been said?

“I want to be clear, maybe we are going to find a new player to replace him (Aguero) but in terms of numbers [of goals it is] impossible,” Guardiola said ahead of Saturday’s clash with Leicester. “In terms of what he means, impossible.

“There are a lot of big chances that maybe we are not going to sign a striker for next season. We have enough players in the first team – and interesting players – with the world economics that we will not sign a striker for next season.”

Pressed on why City might not sign a striker, he added: “With these prices it’s impossible – we cannot afford it. That’s not going to happen. All the clubs struggle financially and we are not an exception.”

Who have City been linked with?

Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland is a potential target for City but the biggest clubs in Europe have also been linked with a move for the Norway international.

His agent Mino Raiola and father Alf-Inge were, according to the Spanish press, in Barcelona and Madrid on Thursday, with Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc forced to deny the striker would be leaving.

Tottenham forward Harry Kane and Inter star Romelu Lukaku have also been linked as potential alternatives but any move would be expected to cost more than £85 million ($117m).

What are City’s alternatives?

With Aguero leaving, Gabriel Jesus would be the only recognised striker left at the club although much of this season’s success has been achieved playing with a false nine.

Spain international Ferran Torres can play as a striker while youngsters Lukas Nmecha and Liam Delap have impressed, on loan at Anderlecht and with the academy, respectively.

“We have Gabriel, Ferran, players in the academy, we play with a false nine – I don’t know what will happen,” Guardiola added. “Maybe we will not buy one. Today there is more chance we will not buy one.”

Where next for Aguero?

A number of top European clubs are sure to be interested in the striker, who is available on a free transfer.

Barcelona and a potential link-up with international team-mate Lionel Messi is one possible destination.

Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus could also be interested while Aguero may choose to stay in England, with Chelsea and Arsenal both having been linked.

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