Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes Sergio Aguero will spend a good while longer in Europe before returning home to Argentina.
Aguero was quoted this week as saying he intends to return to boyhood club Independiente when his current contract at the Etihad Stadium expires.
The 27-year-old, who has scored 128 goals for City since his £38million arrival in 2011, is under contract until 2019, though the club would like to extend his deal.
Pellegrini said: “Sergio knows why he wants to do it. It’s difficult to talk about what will happen in two or three years more because players change their minds.
“Maybe he can be happy to return to Argentina, but Kun has a lot more years here in Europe.”
No room for City slip-ups
Pellegrini’s main focus is the short term and pulling City back into the title race.
City are playing catch-up in the Premier League after an inconsistent season but ended a run of three successive defeats with a comprehensive victory over bottom side Aston Villa last weekend.
They sit fourth, trailing leaders Leicester City by 10 points with a game in hand, heading into this weekend’s fixtures but are used to coming from behind. They did so to take the crown in 2012 and 2014 and Pellegrini wants to lead another charge.
The Chilean, who takes his team to struggling Norwich City on Saturday, said: “We don’t depend just on the work we can do. We cannot have the same points as Tottenham and Leicester if they win all their games.
“But if they win the title (we need to make sure) it’s because they win all their games and not because we couldn’t win ours.
“We’ll focus on trying to win at Norwich and we’ll see the way the other teams manage the pressure between now and the end of the season.
“The most important thing is that we don’t have margin of error. We need to win our games.”
After last week’s 4-0 defeat of Villa, City will be expected to similarly brush aside a Canaries team that have collected just one point from their last nine games to slip into the bottom three.
Pellegrini wary of Norwich
But, speaking at his pre-match press conference, Pellegrini said: “When you must play against teams in relegation positions it is always very difficult because they don’t have much to lose.
“They must try to win their points, especially at home, so I’m sure we will find them a very difficult team. It will be a very tough game if we want to win the three points.”
The trip to Carrow Road, for which City will be without Yaya Toure, comes at the start of another critical week. City face Dynamo Kiev in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday and then host rivals Manchester United next Saturday.
Pellegrini said: “It is very important because if we win the next two games in the Premier League the pressure will be more on the other teams.
“If we can get to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time of course that will be another important achievement.
“I hope that we will do that but we must start thinking just about Norwich.”