Record goalscorer Sergio Aguero will leave Manchester City at the end of the season, the club has announced.
The 32-year-old striker’s contract expires at the end of the season and he has been told it will not be renewed.
The Argentine, who signed from Atletico Madrid in 2011, has scored 257 goals in 384 appearances for the club.
“With the guidance of the owners and the contributions of many players, we earned a place among the greatest of the world,” Aguero said.
He will be honoured by a statue at Etihad Stadium, alongside title-winning captain Vincent Kompany and influential playmaker David Silva, who left the club in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
The trio played leading roles in City’s renaissance, with Aguero famously scoring the injury-time winner against QPR in 2012 which clinched the club’s first English title in 44 years.
Since then, the striker has helped City win three more Premier League titles, one FA Cup and five League Cups.
“Sergio’s contribution to Manchester City over the last 10 years cannot be overstated,” City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said.
“His legend will be indelibly etched into the memories of everyone who loves the club and maybe even in those who simply love football.”
Aguero has played a peripheral role this season, in part because of injury and illness, as City chase a quadruple of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.
In 14 appearances, of which he has started nine games, Aguero has scored three goals.
However, former City defender Micah Richards – who won the title alongside Aguero in the 2011-12 season – thinks the Argentine still has a lot to offer.
“Unless you get [Kylian] Mbappe, [Erling Braut] Haaland or [Harry] Kane, what striker are you going to get to replace him? You get another year out of him,” Richards told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club.
“We don’t know the full details – he might want to leave. But if he is being forced out, that’s another story.”
Aguero has been linked to several of Europe’s top clubs in recent months, with his contract running down and an exit looking likely before being confirmed on Monday.
Spanish giants Barcelona are reported to be potential suitors, with French champions Paris St-Germain, plus Italian duo Juventus and Inter Milan, also credited with interest.
Last week, Chelsea were said to be monitoring Aguero’s situation and ready to move if the Argentine decided to stay in the Premier League.
“I will continue to give it my utmost for the rest of the season to win more titles and bring more joy to the fans,” Aguero added in a statement announcing his exit.
“Then, a new stage with new challenges will begin and I am fully ready to face them with the same passion and professionalism that I have always dedicated to continue at the highest level.”