Unlike Spurs And Liverpool, Manchester City Will Keep Hold Of Best Player
Two seasons ago the best player in the Premier League was Tottenham’s Gareth Bale. He was sold that summer to Real Madrid for £85m.
Last season the best player in the Premier League was Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. He was sold last summer to Barcelona for £75m.
So it’s perhaps little surprise that Sergio Aguero’s astonishing form for Manchester City this season is prompting speculation that he’ll soon be returning to sunny Spain, yet there are enough differences in the situations to suggest that the Argentine will stay put.
The obvious factor that will count in City’s favour should the Spanish rivals come calling, is money. For a club like Spurs looking to build a hugely expensive new stadium, Real Madrid’s offer was almost impossible to turn down.
Historically a world record transfer deal has involved two giants of the world game. Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United for Real Madrid. Kaka went to the Bernabeu from AC Milan, while Zinedine Zidane made the journey from Juventus.
Tottenham found themselves in unchartered waters as for they played high-stakes poker with the big boys for the first time. It’s to their credit that they managed to get such a large fee for Bale, though having largely wasted the money they received for him, perhaps they now wish that they had held firm and kept the player at White Hart Lane.
Liverpool’s situation with Suarez was different, yet similarly it was the fee involved that proved the tipping point. With the Uruguayan having once again taken a chunk out of an opponent with his teeth during this summer’s World Cup, getting £75m for an unstable player that would miss the opening weeks of the season through suspension was a no-brainer. Unfortunately - like Spurs - Liverpool seem to have blown the money they received.
These sums might have felt staggering for Tottenham and Liverpool but it amounts to the spare change down the side of Sheik Mansour’s sofa, for City. Beyond FFP, there is no reason why they would need to cash in and even then there are plenty of other players they could sell for sizeable fees that would not have the seismic effect as the sale of Aguero would likely prompt.
Spurs and Liverpool have given City have been two examples of how difficult it is to replace a world class player. There are just not that many out there and anyone that City might try to replace Aguero with would almost certainly represent a gamble. Still young, he is the player that City must build their next team around, as they try to redevelop an ageing side.
With these factors reducing Manchester City’s need and desire to sell Aguero, the asking price will only get pushed one way. That of course reduces the interest from the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, who are already stuffed full of talent in attacking positions.
With Neymar, Suarez and Lionel Messi to choose from, Barcelona are unlikely to be in the market for a forward unless the rumours of the latter leaving Spain come to fruition. If Messi were to ever leave Barca - doubtful in this writer’s opinion - then City would be first in the queue to sign him anyway, which might somewhat soften the blow of losing Aguero.
Real Madrid might see Aguero as an upgrade on Karim Benzema but their spending must surely have a limit, having gone big on Bale and James Rodriguez in the past two seasons. The rumoured sale of Bale back to the Premier League might facilitate such a move but it all sounds like a lot to negotiate in one summer.
So rest assured City fans, you will enjoy Aguero beyond this season and quite possibly for years to come. In an era when the supposed best league in the world has struggled to hang on to their finest players, that’s welcome news beyond the blue half of Manchester.