Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hinted that striker Sergio Aguero will not earn one final start for the club when they face Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday evening in Portugal.
Aguero is to leave the newly-crowned Premier League champions upon the expiry of his contract next month and made his final Premier League appearance during yesterday’s 5-0 win over Everton at the Etihad Stadium.
After stepping off the bench with just 25 minutes left to play, the Argentine ace, who will go down as one of the Premier League’s greatest players of all-time, ensured he would leave his calling card for one last time, netting a brace to ensure City ended the campaign in style.
It was a fitting ending to his Premier League career, as he has made a name for himself by consistently being a source of goals that City have so frequently been able to rely on.
With this season’s Premier League title taking the tally of trophies he has won during his City career to 15, he will be hoping to make it 16 and secure the one that he and City have been craving for years this weekend: the Champions League.
Having stepped off the bench to score twice against the Toffees yesterday, Aguero certainly staked a claim to be in with a chance of starting against Thomas Tuchel’s Blues this weekend.
However, Guardiola appears to have all but confirmed that the former Atletico Madrid man will only have a part to play from the substitutes bench.
When Guardiola was asked if the striker will have a part to play against Chelsea, the City chief, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News, said: “Yes of course, we have five subs, of course, he has a special feeling. Something special.
“Of course he will be ready if we need him to help us to win the Champions League.”
By making that admission, and referencing the number of substitutes allowed, it seems that Aguero will start on the bench, meaning Gabriel Jesus could well spearhead the attack, whilst the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne make things happen around him.
Do you want all the latest news from around Chelsea Football Club straight to your email inbox?
Of course you do.
By signing up for our Chelsea newsletter, you will receive a twice-daily email, focused on all the latest news from Stamford Bridge.
And, not only that, but you will get exclusive content from our club writers Sam Inkersole and Adam Newson before anyone else.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Blues.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Chelsea section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
Alternatively, you can click here and tick the Chelsea box to subscribe for our Blues newsletter.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
Guardiola, who was in tears after the full-time whistle yesterday when reflecting on Aguero’s City career, hailed the striker’s importance to the club in a touching tribute.
Guardiola said: “We love him so much. He’s a special person for all of us. He’s so nice, so nice. He helped me a lot. We cannot replace him, we cannot.
“There are many players that this club have had – David Silva helped this club to be what it is. He showed his quality in 20 minutes.”