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Guardiola reveals Aguero contract extension amid exit reports

22:30 GMT 20/01/2017
The striker put pen to paper on a new deal until 2020 almost exactly a year ago but the club never made an official announcement and don't plan to

Pep Guardiola says Sergio Aguero has signed a new contract with Manchester City until 2020 and insists the Argentine can stay at the club for as long as he wants.

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Aguero reached the agreement almost exactly a year ago but the club have never made an official announcement and it is understood there are no plans to in the future.

It comes as something of a revelation for Guardiola to have announced it now, less than 24 hours after he and Aguero sat down at a Manchester restuarant along with one of the striker's agents.

Guardiola had earlier claimed that the talks, at Salvi's Cucina on Deansgate, were at Aguero's behest and that the contract issue was not up for discussion.

And when asked about the Argentine's contract situation, given the lack of clarity of the past year, the City boss responded: "He has already signed a contract extension, I think.

"Sergio will be here until he decides to be here. He's our best striker. We have a problem with goals so we need him. What I want is the best possible. He will decide, not me."

Aguero and Guardiola's sit-down came on the day Gabriel Jesus was announced as a City player.

The 19-year-old has been training with his new team-mates for a fortnight and is ready to contribute on the pitch, although Guardiola says he does not know if he will start against Tottenham on Saturday.

"Physically he is ready, but of course he has never played one friendly game with us, not an official game," the Catalan said. "You have to see his impact and the best moment to for him to play."

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Guardiola says Jesus and Aguero can "definitely" play together, but there have been calls from some supporters for the new boy to go straight into the line-up at the Argentine's expense.

Aguero has not scored against any top seven side this season and Guardiola admits that while he is trying to help the striker improve, it is "so difficult" because finishing chances depends on individual ability.

"He knows that, I know that but we don’t discuss that," he said of the striker's recent poor record against big sides. "We have to try to help him to score against the top teams.

"Of course missing seven games [due to] a ban is a lot of games for a non-aggressive player like Sergio, but of course he wants to score, and sometimes he has had the chances. We can review the Chelsea game and how many chances he had, he had the chances. We had the chances.

"Last game [against Everton], the cross for Sergio, nothing, don’t arrive there. I don’t know how other managers do it, but giving advice in the box to help score a goal, it's so difficult to improve because it depends on the quality of the players, for example the second goal against Burnley, it’s almost impossible to do it and he did it, that shows his talent."

Guardiola also discussed the goalkeeping situation following Claudio Bravo's poor form. The Chilean has conceded 14 of the last 22 shots on target he has faced but looks set to stay in the team for Saturday's game.

The coach admits his shot stopper is "one of the reasons" City lost so heavily to Everton, but insists he is far from the only one culpable.

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"Always five minutes after the game finishes, I say 'what can I do to get the team better?' I never in my life say the reason why, I never did, I don’t do it, I never do, say the reason we lost is because of Claudio Bravo.

"It’s one of the reasons, but there are many, many other reasons. So by the time Romelu Lukaku scored the first goal, for example, we had three or four clear, clear, clear chances, one against one with the goalkeeper, so when I tried to analyse I tried to not affect one thing for the other thing, but maybe the reason why is because we changed the defence, maybe, but we will never know that, I’m sorry, I would like to know exactly 100% and I would not answer ‘maybe’, I would answer you ‘Yeah, that’s true’, but I never know."