The NEW hand of God: City land £40million Aguero
Published 23:02 27/07/11 By David Maddock
Sergio Aguero completed the second-biggest move in British history – and fired Manchester City into the title race.
The Argentine striker, dubbed Diego Maradona’s heir apparent, made a £40million switch from Atletico Madrid and signed a five-year contract worth £200,000-per-week.
He could now go straight into the City squad for this weekend’s pre-season tournament in Dublin.
Fans flocked to the Etihad Stadium last night to welcome the striker, who flew in from Buenos Aires to agree terms and take his medical.
Aguero tweeted: “I am now a City player. Happy to be in this club in this city. Thank you all for the welcome.”
Although sources at City had suggested he wouldn’t begin training with his new side until August 4, the club took the unusual step of listing an unnamed striker in their squad for the inaugural Dublin Super Cup this weekend.
It is understood the 23-year-old could travel with his new team-mates for the tournament, before returning home for a short break with his family.
He will then be expected to return at the start of August along with countryman Carlos Tevez... though it remains unlikely the pair will replicate their international partnership on the domestic stage.
Aguero has been bought as a replacement for Tevez, who will now have his demands to leave granted – if he can find a club willing to pay the £40m asking price, and his near £250,000-a-week wages.
Tevez has been in talks with Brazilian club Corinthians, but has been unable to agree terms to move back to South America.
And while Inter Milan maintain a strong interest in the player, they too are struggling to meet his wage demands.
If a buyer can’t be found at that price, City will consider allowing their skipper to leave on a loan deal, providing they don’t have to subsidise any of his salary.
When Tevez is shuffled off the wage bill, it will free up capital for further investment in players.
City boss Roberto Mancini still hopeful of persuading Arsenal to part with Samir Nasri, who is about to enter the final year of his contract after refusing the offer of an extension.
Aguero underwent a three-hour medical yesterday, after flying in overnight, and met with City officials to tie up the details of his massive contract.
BLUE MOON, YOU SAW ME SPENDING A LOAD: MAN CITY'S TOP 10 DEALS
1) £40m - Sergio Aguero, 23, from Atletico Madrid
2) £32.5m - Robinho. Joined on deadline day in September 2008 from Real Madrid. Sheikh Masour's first major signing since taking over the club
3) £27m - Edin Dzeko. Signed in January of this year from Wolfsburg
4) £26m= - Emmanuel Adebayor. Signed by City's previous manager Mark Hughes in July 2009
5) £26m= (including Stephen Ireland, who was valued at £8m) - James Milner, from Aston Villa in August 2010
6) £25m - Carlos Tevez, from Manchester United in July 2009
7) £24.5m - David Silva, from Valencia in July 2010
8) £24m= - Mario Balotelli, who moved from Inter Milan in August 2010
9) £24m= - Yaya Toure, from Barcelona in July 2010
10) £22.5m - Joleon Lescott, from Everton in 2009
Compiled by JAMES WESTLEY