Manchester City Chief Operating Officer Omar Berrada says conversations will take place this week to replace Sergio Aguero, with a new striker their top priority in the transfer market.
City were beaten in the Champions League final on Saturday night, and returned home yesterday at the end of a gruelling season that saw them play 61 of a maximum 62 fixtures as they reached two finals and another semi-final. Some reports in Spain suggest that Aguero didn’t return to Manchester, and instead is in Barcelona to finalise a free transfer to the Nou Camp.
Now, despite winning the Premier League and Carabao Cup, City will want to go one further next year having got so close to the Champions League trophy they crave. And after losing the final, Berrada admits that attention will quickly turn this week to new recruits.
Speaking before the Champions League defeat, Berrada said that replacing Aguero with a new striker is set to be City’s summer priority.
“We are very much focused on our squad,” he said. “We are very pleased with the success the team has had this year.
“We’re looking at areas where we can potentially improve the squad but if you look at the performance of the team and everything they have done this year, it’s not that there are significant investments that we need to make.
“Perhaps we will look at the striker position because we have a legend like Sergio Aguero leaving. When the season ends on Saturday evening, we will sit down and look at what we want to do in the transfer window.”
On what will be needed to replace a player of Aguero’s stature, Berrada conceded that it will be an extremely tough search.
“Replacing Sergio is a very difficult task if not impossible,” he explained, outlining City’s chances of signing a new forward.
“If you look at Sergio and his contribution to the team since he’s joined us have been absolutely phenomenal. Arguably, maybe he is the best striker in Premier League history if you look at the number of goals per minutes played.
“He is going to be sorely missed and we wish him the best for the rest of his career. He’s a legend for this club. What he has done, along the likes of Vincent Kompany, David Silva and many others who have been with us for so many years, it’s almost impossible to replace him.
“Now it’s up to our football director Txiki Begiristain to work with Pep and his coaching staff to bring somebody who can contribute to that striker position specifically. We will see what opportunities are available in the market and whether it makes sense for us as a club to invest in that kind of a player.”