The Hard Tackle examines Sergio Aguero’s current situation at FC Barcelona and what the future holds for the Argentine ace this summer.
At the end of May, Barcelona snapped up Sergio Aguero in what was the first signing for newly-elected club president Joan Laporta. It appeared to be a sensible move for the club, knowing the former Manchester City ace could fill the void left by Luis Suarez and further convince Lionel Messi to remain in Catalonia.
The two are indeed close friends off the pitch and shared the historic Copa America triumph a month and a half later. In fact, Messi’s contract extension at Barcelona was reportedly a major clause in Aguero’s contract and the single most deciding factor in convincing the forward to join Camp Nou.
But this week, Barca dropped a bombshell when they confirmed that a contract extension for Messi is not a possibility due to underlying rules and regulations imposed by the Spanish Football Federation. It served as a major blow for football enthusiasts across the globe, perhaps none more so than Aguero, who had come to Camp Nou to play with his compatriot.
And sure enough, there are now reports coming out of Barcelona suggesting Aguero’s desire to force an exit after the club failed to extend Messi’s contract. He has reportedly asked his agent to find a loophole in the contract that would allow him to do so, a move that could potentially strain the relationship with his new club.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at Sergio Aguero’s prospects at Barcelona and how the departure of Messi could possibly affect his future at Camp Nou.
Can an exit be possibly sanctioned?
Regardless of Aguero’s desires, the forward is set to face a massive challenge when it comes to forcing an exit from Barcelona. While a player isn’t prohibited from joining two new clubs in the same season, with his compatriot Cristian Romero appearing to be a case in point, a lot will depend on tiny details regarding his contract.
There have been conflicting reports over how Barcelona tried to lure him to Camp Nou in the first place. Most outlets claim that the Catalans had only promised the striker to give him an opportunity to play alongside Messi, without any proper legal compulsion to follow up on their promise.
This particular scenario could make things extremely difficult for Aguero’s lawyers. A “broken promise” may not be enough to help him win any legal case, but he could take advantage of the club’s poor financial condition by asking for an exit, knowing the Catalans wouldn’t mind freeing up a considerable chunk of their wage budget.
It will be interesting to see how things transpire over the coming days. The former Atletico Madrid man has opted for a pay cut to play with Messi, so it won’t be a surprise at all to see him depart Camp Nou. Whether or not it could be sanctioned remains to be seen.
What are the potential destinations?
In case Sergio Aguero does end up leaving Barcelona, he should have no shortage of suitors. After all, he is regarded as one of the best players to ever play in the Premier League. His stellar track record at Manchester City should be enough to attract almost any club in European football.
The most likely option appears to be Inter Milan, as they brace themselves for a mass exodus due to the ongoing financial crisis. Despite sealing the Scudetto last season, the Nerazzurri are preparing for life without Romelu Lukaku, who is linked with a sensational return to Chelsea, while Lautaro Martinez has also been a subject of interest from Arsenal.
Aguero should serve as a direct replacement for Lukaku. His experience at the highest level of football should be useful for new coach Simone Inzaghi. Not to mention, he will get the opportunity to link up with his compatriot Lautaro in the final third.
While multiple Premier League clubs may show interest in signing the forward, it appears unlikely that he would want to return to England after spending a decade at Man City. And with that in mind, Juventus could emerge as a potential destination for the veteran.
It is no secret that the Bianconeri are desperate to sign a proper centre-forward who can complement Cristiano Ronaldo’s productivity going forward. Aguero should be an ideal candidate due to his experience and goalscoring prowess. From being promised to play with Messi to starting alongside Ronaldo could be quite the shift of fortunes, though.
Hence, the most likely destination for the 33-year-old if he leaves Barca this summer is a move to MLS. Inter Miami, for one, is a strong candidate due to the club’s ties with David Beckham, who has already attracted one experienced Argentine forward in Gonzalo Higuain.
The prospect of living in Miami is also a great incentive for most South Americans, barring Brazilians, due to the major chunk of the Hispanic presence in the city. The forward should also have no problems earning a fortune, even becoming the biggest name to play in the MLS after Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The case for staying at Barca
Remaining at Barcelona may not appear to be an appealing prospect for Sergio Aguero at the moment. But if there is anyone who can help the club steer forward in the post-Messi era, it is the former Man City superstar. He has the pedigree and the experience to spearhead this new-look Barca attack with the help of some of the most gifted players in world football.
Indeed, the 33-year-old can make a name for himself at Camp Nou if he can replicate his Premier League form in La Liga. He certainly won’t lack any service, with players like Pedri, Ansu Fati and Antoine Griezmann ready to provide with all the support he needs in the final third.
Not to mention, the striker may not partner with Messi even if he does leave Barcelona. There are reports of the Argentine icon moving to Paris Saint-Germain, whose abundance of attacking talents should prevent them from further signing. As such, remaining at a big club like Barcelona, who are slowly starting to return to their roots under new president Joan Laporta is the right option.
One would also expect Aguero to be professional enough to remain put, with outlets like Mundo Deportivo refuting any rumours about the player’s desire to leave this summer. Moreover, the veteran has been selected in the Barca squad in the upcoming game against Juventus in Joan Gamper Trophy. He will wear the number 19 shirt.
Hence, Barcelona fans can certainly breathe easy when it comes to losing another top forward, though the limelight is certainly on the club and how they fare in the market after removing Messi off their wage bill.