MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Feb 13 – Pep Guardiola has admitted he is uncertain if striker Sergio Aguero will still be at Manchester City after this season.
Speculation over the future of Aguero, despite the prolific Argentine’s 18 goals this season, has recurred throughout Guardiola’s first season in charge at the Etihad Stadium.
Questions have again been asked in the past fortnight, with the 28-year-old having to make do with a place on the bench while new signing Gabriel Jesus has taken the plaudits.
Asked if he feared the striker might leave in the summer ahead of Man City’s match against Bournemouth on Monday, live on Sky Sports, Guardiola said: “At the end of the season I don’t know. I know how difficult it is to find top goalscorers.
“I would like him to remain, but I don’t know what is going to happen. Even in my career I didn’t know what would happen at the end of the season.”
Aguero, who is contracted to 2020, has scored 154 goals for City since joining the club in 2011.
Guardiola has repeatedly said Aguero has earned the right to leave the club at a time of his own choosing.
When asked why Aguero might feel unsure of his future, Guardiola said: “I don’t think he feels that way.
“Sergio knows the intention of his manager and the club. I don’t want to sell him, I want him to stay here for a long time until he decides.
“The reason he’s not played the last two games is because Leroy [Sane], Gabriel and Rash [Raheem Sterling] have played amazing. That’s the only reason why. He remains a top player and an important one for us to achieve our goals. I don’t have doubts about that.”
The City boss has also revealed his recent decisions to leave club captain Vincent Kompany on the bench have been tactical rather than because of a need to ease the injury-plagued defender back into action.
He said: “The reason why he didn’t play, like Nico Otamendi, against Swansea was because we knew Fernando Llorente was going to mark Yaya Toure, so our central defenders would be free without the ball and we needed two guys with good build-up.
“We knew that we were going to defend far away from our box and they were not going to use too much counter-attacking. That’s why it was not necessary to have central defenders in the box defending a lot of crosses.
“But Vincent, I’m so delighted and happy he’s back because I know how well he can play and of course we are going to use him in some special games.”
By Sky Sports