Sergio Aguero's father has revealed that Arsenal and Chelsea expressed an interest in signing his son, while he blasted Pep Guardiola for his treatment of the former Manchester City striker.
The 33-year-old frontman has departed City as the club's all-time leading scorer, with the experienced Argentine opting to run down his contract and make a move to Barcelona on a free transfer.
Opportunities were there for a prolific presence to remain in England , but they were passed up in favour of joining fellow countryman Lionel Messi at Camp Nou.
- The first of many: Gordon shows Liverpool his rich potential as Klopp's kids sink Norwich
- Two shots & no assists in six games: Should Sancho's slow start to Man Utd life be a concern?
- USWNT star Press joins Biles and Osaka on growing list of athletes prioritizing mental health
- James McAtee: Man City's 'Salford Silva' who turned his back on Man Utd
What has been said?
Leonel Del Castillo has told Radio La Red of Aguero's decision to head for Catalunya: "He is happy right now after signing for Barcelona. I see him happy.
"He didn’t know what was going to happen with his future. There were several clubs interested in signing him. Arsenal were interested in him and Chelsea to the last minute. If he didn’t stay in England, it was going to be Italy or Spain.
"He’s been friends with Lionel Messi since they were 15 and they’ve always talked. It looks like Messi is going to stay at Barcelona so they’re going to play together."
What did he say about Guardiola?
When asked if he believed Guardiola's tears as he discussed Aguero leaving City, Aguero's father said: "I don't believe Guardiola. He never wanted him, he wants to be the protagonist of all his teams.
"He never treated him well, nor me or his brothers.
"Guardiola is a great coach but from one day to the next he changes the players, the environment changes. You never know if you are a starter or not. He said he was irreplaceable but does not have him in the squad."
The bigger picture
Aguero registered 260 goals for City through 390 appearances.
Those efforts helped the Blues to five Premier League titles, six League Cup triumphs and an FA Cup win.
European glory proved elusive, with the South American's spell at the Etihad Stadium coming to a disappointing end as defeat was suffered in the 2021 Champions League final.
He will get further shots at that prize with Barca, as the Liga giants seek to piece together a competitive squad.
Aguero has been joined at Camp Nou by former City team-mate Eric Garcia , with the promise there for more arrivals to come as Barca continue to be heavily linked with the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum , Memphis Depay and Gianluigi Donnarumma.