BARCELONA

Barcelona set to confirm Agüero signing at end of season

Barça have reportedly sealed a deal to sign Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero on a free transfer, with Memphis Depay and Éric García also in line to move to the Camp Nou.

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Barcelona set to confirm Agüero signing at end of season
LAURENCE GRIFFITHS AFP

Barcelona are starting to get their squad ready for next season and Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero looks set to become the Blaugrana’s first summer signing.

It’s a decision taken by the Camp Nou board as the club still do not have a sporting director. Jordi Cruyff, who is the preferred candidate to fill the role, remains in China and, according to Catalan radio station RAC1, doesn’t look like leaving Shenzhen before his contract expires in December.

Agüero's Barcelona arrival to be announced after Champions League final

Catalan newspapers Mundo Deportivo and La Vanguardia both report that Barça have reached an agreement with Agüero, 33, and that the Argentine’s arrival at the club will be announced after City’s Champions League final against Chelsea, which is to be played on 29 May.

Agüero would join Barça on a free transfer, as he is out of contract at the end of the season and last month confirmed he would not be extending his 10-year stay at the Premier League club.

Since moving to the Etihad Stadium in 2011, the striker has become City’s highest ever goalscorer, netting 258 times for a club that has won five league titles in his time in England.

Agüero's friendship with Messi a major factor for Barcelona

Barça’s board are attracted not only by his experience and scoring ability, but also his good personal relationship with club captain and compatriot Lionel Messi. It is felt that Agüero’s arrival could be a factor that helps persuade Messi, whose contract is due to expire in June, to renew his deal.

Barcelona also closing in on Depay

Agüero’s signing would not affect Barça’s pursuit of Lyon’s Memphis Depay, with whom the club are in advanced talks over a free transfer this summer.

With Cruyff seemingly unlikely to arrive in the immediate future, decisions over head coach Ronald Koeman’s position, the signing of a defender (a swoop for Éric García has all but been sealed) and end-of-season player exits will also have to be made without a sporting director.