MADRID, May 24 – Argentine star Sergio 'Kun' Aguero has announced he wants to leave Atletico Madrid, and some of Europe's top clubs are reportedly lining up to snatch him."I said long ago that when I wanted to go, I would say so publicly. And the time has come. So I have kept my word and here I am," the 22-year-old striker said in a statement posted on his website late Monday.
"I find it hard to leave Atletico. It hurts me and saddens me. But I don’t find it hard to explain why I am doing it.
"I’ve thought about it for a long time and I’m convinced that I must be true to myself. I think that I should not rule out the possibility to keep learning, to keep growing."
Aguero, who is married to Diego Maradona’s daughter, moved to Spain from Independiente of Argentina in 2006.
His decision to leave Atletico, which finished seventh in the Spanish league last season, has reportedly left a number of top European clubs eagerly eyeing the striker.
The president of Italian club Juventus, Andrea Agnelli, and its sporting director Guiseppe Marotta were in talks with Aguero’s agent on Tuesday, according to Italian news agency Ansa.
Spanish sports daily Marca said the player’s agents also plans to meet with Real Madrid officials this week. Another sports paper, AS, said Real would have to fork out 75 million euros for the player.
Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City are also reportedly interested.
In January, Aguero signed a contract extension that committed him to Atletico until 2014, with a buyout clause of 45 million euros.
The player stressed that his decision "is not an economic issue but strictly a sporting one. So I want to clearly express my appreciation to the club for the efforts it has made to give me a salary that equates with those of the largest clubs in the world."
"I want to say also that this decision has been maturing for some time. The issue was discussed and agreed with Atletico last year on the occasion of the renewal of my contract."