City poised to land £35m striker Aguero
Sergio Aguero flew out of Buenos Aires last night bound for the Premier League after Manchester City agreed a club record £35m fee with Atletico Madrid for the forward.
The player is expected to hold talks with City today over a five-year contract, thought to be worth around £150,000 a week, before completing his move.
The 23-year-old's imminent arrival represents a major victory for City manager Roberto Mancini in his attempts to build a team capable of winning the Premier League.
Aguero, son-in-law to Diego Maradona, had been coveted by Juventus and Real Madrid. That City have been able to get their man will be seen as undeniable proof of their altered status on the world stage.
City yesterday agreed a fee with Atletico just shy of the £38m release clause inserted into Aguero's contract, signed in January, of which £2.2m will be paid to the player's first club, Independiente, who sold the striker to Spain in 2006 for £15m.
Though Atletico have been forced to reduce their valuation, such an outcome is far preferable to the alternative of seeing Aguero join their fierce rivals Real.
Jose Mourinho's interest appears to have cooled, with his attentions firmly fixed on the Brazilian striker Neymar, despite some suggestions that Real had drawn up a provisional arrangement with Aguero earlier this year.
Regardless, Mancini now seems set to be granted his wish to see the capture of Aguero completed before his side travel to Dublin for the latest stage of their pre-season odyssey on Friday. It is unlikely that Aguero will feature in that tournament.
Meanwhile, Carlos Tevez, currently on holiday in Sardinia, will definitely not feature, but the disaffected club captain will loom large in Mancini's thoughts.
The player has made it clear he wishes to be reunited with his family in Argentina, but after the collapse of his move to Corinthians, suitors are growing thin on the ground.
By the time Tevez returns to training next week, Aguero should be installed as his replacement and heir. With City refusing to budge from their £50m valuation for a European side, Tevez is unlikely to be overjoyed at having to welcome him. (© Daily Telegraph, London)