Mikel Arteta plays coy on Arsenal approach for ‘unique’ Sergio Aguero ahead of Manchester City exit

Mikel Arteta plays coy on Arsenal approach for 'unique' Sergio Aguero after Manchester City exit
The Argentine will leave the Etihad when his contract expires (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has praised Sergio Aguero after it was announced the prolific striker would be leaving Manchester City at the end of the season, while he played coy on whether the Gunners would consider snapping him up on a free transfer.

The Premier League leaders announced earlier this week that their record scorer would leave the Etihad when his contract expires this summer and already an illustrious queue of suitors have emerged to sign him.

Aguero’s preference is believed to be a move to Barcelona – where he would link up with countryman Lionel Messi – while Manchester United, Chelsea and PSG have also been credited with interest.

Mikel Arteta Sergio Aguero Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Arteta remains a massive fan of Aguero despite his recent struggles (Getty)

But Arsenal could also be a potential destination for the 32-year-old – who is likely to ask for wages in excess of £230,000-a-week – with Arteta, who coached the forward at City, adamant he is still an elite striker.

Asked if he believes Aguero can still perform at a high level, Arteta said on Thursday: ‘For sure. Sergio has a unique quality to see spaces that nobody else can see and to score goals in a really easy way.

‘So I am sure that he will find the right next chapter for him.’

Asked if he will be picking up the phone to see if Aguero fancies a move to north London, Arteta laughed and replied: ‘No, no, Sergio, we will see what happens with him in the future.’

Paying tribute to what Aguero achieved at City, Arteta continued: ‘First of all I think anybody who has been close to Sergio would say the same thing: I think he’s been probably the main face – or one of the main three faces – that has lifted that project.

‘You need some leadership, you need some quality, you need players to create moments to start to build a project like [Manchester City] did. And Sergio is probably the biggest face on that project.

‘It’s not only the way he plays, it’s his charisma, his personality, the way he is – he’s loved by everybody at that club. It’s sad to see someone like him leaving, but I think for what he’s done he will be there like history.’

Mikel Arteta Sergio Aguero Arsenal v Manchester City
Arteta played against Aguero and coached him at Man City (Picture: Getty)

On where Aguero ranks among the best ever Premier League strikers, Arteta added: ‘He is one of the best for sure. The consistency that he’s shown at this level and this league, I think it puts him right there with the best. We can discuss within the best, but for me, he’s one of the best.

‘I think when a club wants to have a gesture of recognition to somebody that has changed their history, I think it’s a really nice touch.

‘Obviously, you cannot have the stadium full of statues but I think it’s a really nice thing to do.’

Aguero famously secured City their first title in 44 years when he scored a stoppage-time winner against QPR in 2012 and has gone on to help the side win three more Premier League trophies – with another set to follow this season.

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