Guardiola and Aguero hold late-night talks in Manchester restaurant

Guardiola and Aguero hold late-night talks in Manchester restaurant

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Date: 20 January 2017 06:08

The Manchester City boss and main striker were seen in lengthy discussions in a secluded area of a restaurant in the Deansgate area of the city

Pep Guardiola, Sergio Aguero and the striker's representative held talks in Manchester late on Thursday night, Goal understands.

’Messi is Batman’

The trio held lengthy discussions in a secluded corner of the Deansgate restuarant on the day Gabriel Jesus was announced as a Manchester City player.

The exact nature of the talks is unknown but the meeting provides more evidence that Aguero's future is the subject of some debate.

Guardiola has publicly ruled out the possibility of Aguero leaving City any time soon, insisting "without him we cannot achieve our targets", and that the Argentine would only leave when he himself decides to.

But there is some confusion over the status of a contract extension which Fifa and FA documents indicate was signed almost exactly one year ago.

A list of 'intermediary transcations', published by the FA in April, records payments made by Premier League clubs to agents for transfers and contract extensions, and shows Aguero's agent was remunerated by City for his services on January 27, 2016. 

That extension is still to be announced, however, despite several indications over the past 12 months that confirmation was forthcoming.

Sources close to Aguero have also told Goal that he intends to stick to the original plan of returning to boyhood club Independiente after the 2018 World Cup, which he made public last year, after his supposed contract extension was agreed.

The issue is complicated further by the fact that City enquired about Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last summer, and are still believed to be monitoring the market for a big-name striker. Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann is believed to have featured in discussions in recent months.

New signing Jesus, who was officially confirmed as a City player on Thursday, is just 19 years old and is not considered ready to replace Aguero in the starting line-up.

City scouts have relayed to the club that he needs to improve his link-up play outside the area, but his work-rate and willingness to win the ball from opposition defenders was one of the key traits - aside from his eye for goal - which initially caught the eye.

Indeed, Goal has previously revealed that Jesus was signed by City to put pressure on Aguero, in whom Guardiola and his coaches had identified the need to improve before even joining the club last June.

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Guardiola spent much of the early part of the season urging Aguero to do more for the team, in terms of his work-rate when City have possession and when they are trying to win it back.

The Argentina international has responded to those demands and has put in a number of hard-working performances, not least against Barcelona in the Champions League and West Brom in the Premier League.

He has come in for criticism from supporters recently, however, following low-key performances against Liverpool and Everton since returning from a four-game ban over Christmas, despite scoring in wins against Burnley and West Ham in between the two games on Merseyside.


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