City line up Dublin bow for £35m man Aguero
Sergio Aguero will officially complete his £35m switch to Manchester City today -- and could even make his debut this weekend in Dublin.
After a day of talks at the Etihad Stadium, Aguero announced on his Twitter account that he was now "a City player" and added: "Happy to be at this club and in this city. Thank you to everyone for the welcome and the reception."
The deal for Aguero may also have paved the way for Inter Milan to launch a new attempt to sign his compatriot Carlos Tevez for a cut-price £30m.
Aguero arrived in Manchester from Buenos Aires yesterday morning and travelled to the city's Bridgewater Hospital just after 10.0 for a three-hour medical, which he is believed to have passed, before adjourning for lunch and moving on to the club's stadium for talks over his five-year, £150,000-a-week contract.
City were last night finalising the details of that contract, as well as completing final paperwork with the player's current club, Atletico Madrid, but no hitches are expected. Atletico's manager Gregorio Manzano has already commented that he felt the 23-year-old might have found a more "professional" way to leave Spain.
Aguero may even be included in Roberto Mancini's squad for the final instalment of City's pre-season preparations, the Dublin Super Cup, for which the Premier League team will travel to Ireland tomorrow. City rather mysteriously included the provision for a "plus one" striker when submitting their squad list to the tournament's organiser yesterday, though it is believed no firm decision has yet been made.
Should the Argentinian, fresh from the Copa America, be granted the weekend to arrange affairs in Spain, he will return to training early next week at the same time given to Tevez as he departed Manchester for international duty at the end of last season.
The likelihood of the 27-year-old fulfilling that commitment is receding, though, after it emerged his long-term suitors Inter are exploring the possibility of persuading City to part with him for rather less than the £50m the Premier League side have consistently stipulated, despite his persistent indications that he wishes to leave.
Sources in Italy believe Inter will offer City around £30m for Tevez, but will attempt to bridge the gap in valuations by agreeing to write off the £13m still owed by the Premier League team for the transfer of Mario Balotelli last summer. Some reports last night suggested the Argentinian, who had been photographed with Inter's sporting director Marco Branca while on holiday in Sardinia this week, may have travelled to Milan for talks with the Italian side along with his representative, Kia Joorabchian.
Inter's owner, the oil tycoon Massimo Moratti, has been at pains to distance the club from a move for Tevez in recent weeks, insisting that the player's wages -- currently running at around £230,000-a-week -- and City's refusal to budge from their valuation made the transfer impossible in a year when he is attempting to bring Inter's spending in line with Uefa's looming Financial Fair Play rules.
That he is considering a move for Tevez, even at a slightly reduced cost, has been seen in Italy as evidence that two of the club's current highest earners -- the Dutch international Wesley Sneijder and the Brazilian full-back Maicon, both of whom are paid around £190,000-a-week before tax -- are on the cusp of being sold. Sneijder is a long-term target for Manchester United, who have indicated they may make one more "world-class" signing this summer, while Maicon is expected to be reunited with his former boss Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. The Bernabeu club were thought to be City's main competition for Aguero, though the player's delight at moving to England, rather than across the Spanish capital, was evident yesterday.
Aguero was equally keen to meet and greet his new supporters, happily signing autographs outside the Bridgewater Hospital, as well as making a point of signing something for each of the dozens of fans who had waited at the Etihad Stadium for several hours for a glimpse of the most expensive player in the club's history. (© Daily Telegraph, London)