Belfast Telegraph

Sergio Aguero 'very happy' at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola

Sergio Aguero has emphasised he is "very happy" at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola and played down the suggestion he could move to Real Madrid.

There have been questions over the striker's future after City boss Guardiola left him out of the starting XI for successive matches in October against Everton and Barcelona.

That was interpreted in some quarters as an indication of a lukewarm attitude from the manager towards the Argentina international.

But having restored Aguero to his starting line-up, Guardiola last month reasserted his faith in him, calling him a "special player" who he hopes "can stay for a long time".

And Aguero was this week quoted as telling ESPN FC Radio in Argentina: "There's long been rumours about Real Madrid but the truth is that I'm very happy at City, especially with the arrival of Pep."

The 28-year-old stressed how positive his relationship with Guardiola has been since the Spaniard's appointment over the summer as he reiterated his desire to rejoin his first club Independiente when his City contract runs out.

Of Guardiola, Aguero said: "He's helping me a lot to grow as a player and we speak a lot. I'm happy at City and I hope to finish my contract and return to Independiente."

Aguero, who joined City in 2011, is currently contracted to the Premier League club until 2019. In September, Guardiola said he thought the player would sign an extension, although no such deal has been announced.

The back-to-back games Aguero was dropped for at City came straight after an international break, in which the second of two appearances he made for Argentina saw him miss a penalty as his side were beaten 1-0 at home by Paraguay.

Aguero - who subsequently failed to convert a spot-kick in the Everton match after coming off the bench - admits he returned to City after that break down about how things had gone with his national team, and he feels Guardiola handled the situation well.

He said: "Now I'm happy for how things are currently going for me at the club.

"But after the last game with Argentina, I wasn't in a great mood because of the defeat, because of the game, for how I played and for the penalty.

"I was down on myself. The first few days afterwards I was very down and to be honest Pep helped me quite a lot.

"I tried to think positively and fortunately the last few weeks my head has changed enough, I was able to help the team and pick up some points which we were finding quite hard to get."

Aguero has started four of City's last five games - which have included a 4-0 victory at West Brom and 3-1 win over Barca - and scored three times to take his tally for the season to 14 goals.

Meanwhile, City full-back Bacary Sagna has his sights firmly set on the November 19 match at Crystal Palace for his return to action having rejoined training with his team-mates last week.

Sagna has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring tear while playing for France against Bulgaria on October 7.

The 33-year-old, quoted on City's offficial website on Thursday, said: "I'm back training with the team after one month on my own.

"I came back on Friday but obviously it was too short for me to play the game (Saturday's 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough).

"I didn't go with the national team. I decided to stay here to get some match fitness and I will be ready for the next game.

"That's the target. I feel good today. I'm trying to get my pace back, I'm trying to get my fitness back and I feel really good. I have another week to get even more ready."


From Belfast Telegraph