Real Madrid target Sergio Aguero has said he intends to run down his contract at Manchester City and will sign for boyhood club Independiente in 2019.
The Argentina striker told French football magazine So Foot (h/t Sky Sports) he wants to return to the club he made his professional debut for in 2003, but will remain at City until his current deal expires, dashing Los Blancos' hopes:
"I have always said that I want to return to Independiente and I will do just that," Aguero said. "I will return to Independiente when my contract with City expires. I do not want to make my comeback when I am too old. If everything goes well, I will return to the club of my heart at the age of 31."
Aguero has been linked to Madrid in recent weeks, after Le10 Sport (via AS, h/t Football Espana) claimed president Florentino Perez had singled out the attacker to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, if the icon leaves the Bernabeu in the summer.
Perez had previously attempted to buy Aguero while the player featured in La Liga for Atletico Madrid, but no deal could be struck between the Spanish capital's bitter rivals, per Le10 Sport. The club president is said to have a "long-held dream" of purchasing Kun, and would make his move for the world-class finisher if he opts to sell CR7.
Football Espana adds the Galacticos could include Isco in a deal to buy Aguero, as Sky Blues boss Manual Pellegrini is a fan of the playmaker.
However, Aguero's comments are a blow to Madrid, who will be preparing for the worst as speculation about Ronaldo's future grows.
David Anderson of the Mirror reported Ronaldo's mother has advised her son to return to Manchester United, should he decide to leave the Bernabeu, and Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror said the player is enthused about the idea of plying his trade at Old Trafford once again.
Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague proclaimed in his recent book Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography that he thinks CR7 would be happy to move back to his former Premier League club: "Cristiano Ronaldo still dreams of returning to Manchester United. The English club informed his agent in 2013 that they have enough financial power to secure his return."
Aguero would be the perfect positional replacement for Ronaldo, as the Portugal international features more as a No. 9 today, opposed to his early years as a winger. His goal record would need to be replicated by a new signing, and Aguero has the pedigree to score on a weekly basis for Los Merengues.
Despite suffering with injury on several occasions over the past 12 months, Aguero smashed 26 goals in only 30 Premier League starts for City last term, according to WhoScored.com.
Perez will need this kind of goal ratio from any new incumbent of the centre-forward role, but he might have to look elsewhere after Aguero professed his intention to stay in England for the short term.
Madrid will have to turn a corner in their history if their star player leaves for United or elsewhere, but Aguero's consistent problem with injuries make him a risky signing.
The striker certainly has the ability to become the Galacticos' main goalscorer, but he cannot be relied upon if he is constantly blighted by minor injury.
Perez has not ever been afraid to splash the cash to get the individuals he wants, so if he truly desires the capture of Aguero, City will find it hard to stop the player returning to Spain—before he finds his way back to Buenos Aires to feature for El Rojo.