Pep Guardiola has given Sergio Aguero his blessing to join any of Manchester City’s Premier League rivals, saying he will be “delighted” with whatever decision he makes.
Man City announced last month that this will be the Argentine’s final season at the Etihad after a decade of service.
Aguero is yet to comment on his plans beyond this campaign, but he has already been inundated with enquiries from other clubs.
Barcelona and Aguero’s former club Independiente are leading the charge, but the forward is also the subject of interest from Premier League sides including Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Selling Aguero to a Premier League rival could potentially come back to haunt Guardiola and City.
But the Citizens boss says this wouldn’t change his opinion of Aguero and that he’ll be happy for him wherever he decides to go.
Guardiola said: “The best for him, we wish – all of us. Find the best for Sergio for the last years in his career, for sure. 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.”
City made the Aguero announcement while the striker was battling with injuries, but the Argentine is now back in first-team contention after returning to fitness.
On whether Man City acted too rashly and should have waited to see what impact Aguero would have from now until the end of the season before deciding to axe him, Aguero added: “Everything can happen.
“I’m sorry, I’m not a person who can see far away for 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 a positive way.
“Everyone must be ready and hopefully Sergio can be ready quick [following a long injury layoff].
“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 the best condition.
“I said last week after we announced [his departure] the way he trained, and in the Leicester game [2-0 win], which was so difficult because they defend so deep and so tight, for the strikers it is not easy, he moved well and helped us.
“He felt something in his leg [so] he was substituted. He is doing better.”