Despite their financial struggles, silly season is in full swing at Barcelona. The Catalan club are being linked with a host of names despite their lack of financial liquidity, with one of the most-bandied about in recent times being Sergio Aguero.
The Argentine marksman, one of the most lethal forwards in the European game over the last decade, has just announced he’ll be leaving Manchester City when his contract expires come the end of this season.
Aguero has played just 14 games this campaign, sidelined by injury and covid-19. But he’s still a club legend. Aguero’s scored over 250 goals for City, among them the most important in the club’s history, the goal that won City the Premier League title right at the death back in 2012.
Aguero joined City from Atletico Madrid back in 2011 for €40m, and is said to be interested in returning to Spain and La Liga. A reunion with Lionel Messi, one of his very best friends, makes sense on many levels, and may even serve as a sweetener in getting Messi to stay at Barcelona beyond the expiration of his contract. But there’s also complications to a deal.
Barcelona are intent on bringing in a centre-forward this season, that’s well known. What’s also well known is that there’s several high-profile players who will become free agents when their contracts end this summer, including David Alaba, Memphis Depay, Gini Wijnaldum and Eric Garcia. There’s also interest in Erling Haaland emanating from Camp Nou, but the thing is that Barcelona can’t sign everyone.
Indeed, much of the rumour coming out of Catalonia indicates that Ronald Koeman and Joan Laporta’s first-choice recruits to reinforce their frontline would be Depay, on a free transfer, and an ambitious bid for Haaland. Aguero appears to be third-choice. If you’d like to take a punt on where the Argentine could end up come the beginning of next season, Bookmakers España is as good a place as any.
Chelsea have been credited with an interest, being the club closest to signing Aguero when he joined City back in 2011. There’s a school of thought that a team engineered to service a sole finisher would be able to extract at least one great season out of Aguero. Then, as has long seemed pre-ordained, he could return to Argentina to finish his career with Independiente, his first club and very much the club of his heart.
Aguero’s agent, Hernan Reguera, has an office in Barcelona and is said to have been in conversation with Laporta about a potential move. One perhaps underrated factor is that if Messi gives the word that Aguero’s return would help convince him to stay, it’d be hard for Laporta and Koeman to turn him down.
Were he to join, he’d have to take a pay cut. Aguero currently earns €15m net per season in England. He still has goals in him, last season hitting 23 in 32 games. Injuries have, however, began to take their toll on the 33 year-old. He underwent an operation on his meniscus just nine months ago and has had 20 different injuries since 2012. He’s a risky signing. What’s up in the air is whether he’s a risk Barcelona are willing to take.