EPL

Sergio's preference is my preference - Guardiola not opposed to Aguero joining Premier League rival

By Sports Desk April 09, 2021

Pep Guardiola would have no qualms over Sergio Aguero joining another Premier League club when he leaves Manchester City at the end of this season.

It was announced last week that Aguero will conclude a decade-long association with City when his contract expires in June.

The 32-year-old is his club's all-time leading goalscorer with 257, having surpassed Eric Brook's previous best mark of 177 in November 2017.

Aguero is also the highest scoring overseas player in Premier League history and Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham and City's weekend opponents Leeds United have been among the clubs rumoured to hold an interest in the Argentina striker.

After his years of service to City, Guardiola insisted he was not in a position to pick and choose where he might want Aguero – who has also been mentioned in dispatches with Barcelona, Inter, Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica – to fulfil his wish to "continue competing at the highest level".

"The best for him, we wish, all of us. Find the best for Sergio for the last years in his career, for sure," the City manager told reporters.

"We'll be delighted with the decision he takes, the best for him and his family and his career.

"My preference is his preference. His preference is my preference. The best for him is the best for us."

Asked whether he expects to see one final burst of peak Aguero in City colours as the club chase honours on four fronts, Guardiola offered no guarantees.

Indeed, he revealed the forward "felt something in his leg" before being substituted after an hour of last weekend's 2-0 win at Leicester City.

Aguero was an unused substitute for Tuesday's 2-1 Champions League quarter-final first leg win over Borussia Dortmund, with a hamstring injury and a bout of coronavirus having compromised his return to full fitness following meniscus surgery last June.

"Everything can happen. I'm sorry, I'm not a person who can see far away more than one week. In football I learned from my period as a player and a manager that everything can change quickly in a positive way or not positive way," Guardiola said.

"Everyone must be ready and hopefully Sergio can be ready quick.

"Sergio is a lovely person with specific qualities and skills. I understand him, I know him, and I understand he needs time to get in best condition.

"In the Leicester game, which was so difficult because they defend so deep and so tight, he moved well and helped us. He felt something in his leg he was substituted. He is doing better."

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    The Magpies confirmed a fan was stabilised and taken to hospital after a medical emergency temporarily halted play in the game at St James' Park.

    Players were alerted to an incident in the ground's East Stand shortly before the 40th minute, with Spurs full-back Reguilon quickly alerting referee Andre Marriner.

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    Marriner was then seen discussing the situation with a steward and a police officer before the players headed into the changing rooms as the fan continued to receive treatment before later being taken from the stadium.

    Both sides later returned to the pitch to play out the rest of the first half, with Spurs going on to seal a 3-2 victory.

    Reguilon, who was widely praised for his swift reaction, said the win mattered little after such a worrying incident.

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    "I saw the fans waving and I saw a guy lying down. I saw something wrong had happened. I looked at the referee and he stopped the match. I think now everything is okay and 100 per cent happiness.

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    Harry Kane, whose first Premier League goal of the campaign put Spurs 2-1 ahead, echoed Reguilon's sentiments and sent his best wishes to the supporter.

    "Firstly, we want to say best wishes to the guy in the stands, it was not a good sight to see," he told Sky Sports. "We hear that he might be stable now, so we're thankful to the medical teams and the fans who were doing the CPR.

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    Newcastle's pre-match elation swiftly carried onto the pitch. Only one minute and 47 seconds had passed when Wilson got ahead of his marker to head in Javier Manquillo's cross.

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    Kane's misfortunes have become a major talking point in recent weeks, with last season's golden boot winner far from his best since his failed move to Manchester City.

    But he finally opened his league account for the campaign on Sunday, before then combining with his partner in crime Son. Six of Kane's seven top-flight goals for Spurs against Newcastle have come at St James' Park. He has only scored more away goals against Leicester City and Everton.

    Time up for Bruce?

    Bruce hit out at the media in his pre-match news conference, after numerous stories of his impending dismissal proved to be untrue. Yet on his milestone game as a manager, Bruce's deficiencies were there for all to see. Newcastle started brilliantly, but in the final 10 minutes, a chorus of "sacked in the morning" echoed around the stadium. It was not exactly clear which sets of supporters were responsible.

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    What's next?

    Newcastle face another London team in the form of an away game at Crystal Palace next Saturday, while Spurs travel to the Netherlands to play Vitesse in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

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