The Guardiola – Aguero update from Manchester City was a strange one, as the Premier League side provided some details on whether or not Pep Guardiola and Sergio Aguero will extend their stay at the Etihad Stadium.
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak spoke to the in-house channels about the 2019-20 season, plans for the future and coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, and some of the more interesting comments came on Guradiola and Aguero, who are both out of contract next summer.
First here was Al Mubarak’s comments on Aguero’s future.
“We are going to work it out together and it will be very natural wherever that is if its next year or the year after. It will play out in a very comfortable way whatever Sergio decides,” Mubarak said. “Likewise, with Pep, the conversation will be a very natural one. We have a clear alignment in terms of where we see the future and what we want in terms of success for the club. It will be a natural conversation as we go and it will work out for the best for Pep, for me and for the club.”
He then gave more details on how the situation with Guardiola will unfold.
“It’s a very relevant question. Pep and I have a very clear understanding about what is right for the club,” Mubarak said. “We have a clear alignment in terms of where we see the future and what we want in terms of success. It will be a comfortable conversation and it will work out in the best way for Pep, for me and for the club. I’m very comfortable about that.
“We have such an understanding – me and Pep, the ecosystem we have between Txiki [Begiristain, sporting director], Ferran [Soriano, chief executive], the entire club – that this conversation with Pep is a natural conversation. We have the right trust in each other and what’s best will happen.”
So, that’s hardly a ‘Guardiola is staying at Man City and we want him long-term’ vibe from Khaldoon Al Mubarak, is it?
With Aguero, you get it. He’s 32 years old and he’s said on many occasions that he would like to play back home in Argentina to end his career.
Aguero is Man City’s all-time leading goalscorer, as well as winning every trophy possible aside from the UEFA Champions League, and he will want one more crack at that in 2020-21. His absence through injury was a big blow for Man City after project restart and underlined his importance.
As for Guardiola, you would think Man City would come out and speak about him a little more glowingly than they have here.
For the fourth season in a row they’ve failed in the Champions League and at this point their Abu Dhabi owners believe failure as not winning the competition. Slipping up at the Champions League quarterfinal stage was a bitter pill to swallow for Guardiola in the past two seasons, but especially this season against Lyon.
There’s no doubt he will continue to be backed in the transfer window and has been already this summer as Leroy Sane left and Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake have already arrived.
Having Guardiola on board and fired up for Champions League and Premier League glory is key and Khaldoon Al Mubarak is playing his cards very close to his chest here.
Right now, it would seem that the Guardiola – Aguero update was more about preparing Man City fans for their departure.