Pablo Zabaleta believes former Manchester City teammate Sergio Aguero will join Barcelona when he leaves the Etihad Stadium this summer.
Aguero, 32, is set to bring the curtain down on his decade with City at the end of the season. The Argentina international joined the north-west giants from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011. And he leaves a legend, having become the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
The South American has bagged 258 goals from 387 appearances in all competitions. And he may not be done yet, with four league games and the Champions League final still to come.
Speculation has been mounting as to which club Aguero will join. Tottenham, Chelsea, Everton and Leeds United have all been mentioned in connection with the striker.
But Barcelona appear favourites, after reports last month that his agents had already received a contract for the veteran. It is unclear whether that is the case but most things seem to point to the Nou Camp.
Zabaleta certainly thinks so. The 36-year-old, who has now hung up his boots, spent nine years with the blue half of Manchester.
Six of those were in the same side as Aguero while the pair played many times together for Argentina. He is therefore well placed to comment on his compatriot.
And the former full-back is adamant that the man from Buenos Aires can do a top job in Spain.
“I see him at Barcelona,” he said on Spanish radio (via Sport). “I’m sure that, as soon as he gets well, he will go back to being the player we have seen for years.
“If he can be physically fit and not have injuries that prevent him from being consistent throughout the season, he can still have at least two good years.”
Barcelona to complete circle for Aguero
Having starred for Argentine club Independiente, he was picked up by Atletico in 2006. With 101 goals from 234 outings with Los Rojiblancos, it was inevitable that the giants would come calling.
He already has four Premier League winner’s medals with City and looks certain to make that five on May 23. Add to that six EFL Cup triumphs and one FA Cup and it seems he has done it all.
But the lure of continuing at one of the word’s top teams appears to be driving him on. And Zabaleta feels he has the attributes to make an impact with the Catalans.
“He is a player who is decisive within the penalty area,” he added. “We have already seen him during these years in England, scoring more than 20 goals per season and very important goals.”