What was the reaction?
City President Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in a statement: “Sergio’s contribution to Manchester City over the past 10 years cannot be overstated. His legend will be indelibly etched in the memory of all those who love the Club and perhaps even those who simply love football.
“It is not yet the time for farewell words and farewell speeches. There is still a lot to do in the rest of the time we have with Sergio, and we look forward to his contribution to the challenges that lie ahead.
“In the meantime, I have the great pleasure to announce that we are going to commission an artist to create a statue of Sergio to live at the Etihad stadium alongside those under construction for Vincent and David. And we look forward to the opportunity to say goodbye to Sergio at the end of the season.
Why was this decision made?
Last year, City told Aguero that returning to top form by the end of 2020 will increase his chances of getting a new contract, but for various reasons that have not happened and he has to hardly had an impact on the first team in 2021..
The writing appears to have been on the wall for quite some time, with sources close to him discussing his release as inevitable as early as January.
He was due to start the FA Cup third round draw against Birmingham this month, but that comeback has derailed after contracting Covid and he has only started two matches since then.
City have never made a contract offer and these doubts about his physical form have most likely made the club feel that the time has come for a change.
Aguero would have been more than happy to stay at City and so it is likely that if he had something planned already, he would not have started these talks until after City communicated their decision.
This happened on Monday afternoon, when he was summoned to a meeting with Pep Guardiola. Immediately afterwards, Aguero was called by the president of the city, Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
What could be Aguero’s next move?
Sources planning his release had suggested Italy as a possible destination, as Aguero’s girlfriend Sofia Calzetti is passionate about the lifestyle. Inter had been touted as an option but they did not appear to be able to pay his wages.
More recently, these sources have spoken of offers from Spain and Italy. Barcelona have been most widely linked in the media.
Are the club likely to seek a replacement this summer?
A key element in City’s decision will have been their determination to bring in a top-class forward this summer, with Erling Haaland at the top of their list.
Haaland is also the number one choice among supporters, but any striker will have an incredible job if he is to step into Aguero’s shoes.
City could also sign a second new striker this summer, and AthleticDavid Ornstein of Southampton has already signaled his interest in Danny Ings of Southampton.
(Photo: Tom Flathers / Manchester City FC via Getty Images)