Manchester City are unlikely to prioritise the signing of a new striker for next season despite all-time leading scorer Sergio Aguero leaving the Premier League club at the end of the campaign, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
Aguero, who has netted 257 goals in 384 appearances and won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and five League Cups at the club, is set to leave when his contract expires.
City have only one other central striker in Gabriel Jesus and reports in the British media have linked them with a move for Europe’s hottest striking talent – Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland – but Guardiola hosed down the speculation.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen but at these prices we’re not going to buy any striker,” Guardiola told reporters ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Leicester City.
“It’s impossible. We cannot afford it. All the clubs are struggling financially, us as well. We have Gabriel, Ferran (Torres) who has been incredible, Raheem (Sterling) as a false nine… Today there’s more chance we’ll not buy a striker.”
Guardiola heaped praise on former City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, who scored five goals in three games for Leicester in March to be named Premier League player of the month.
“Incredible. The quality was there, he was a young player here and I think with Gabriel we didn’t have enough space,” Guardiola said.
“He’s a fantastic person, we had a good relationship, and I’m glad to see him playing well. In the final third he has the right tempo, he’s so clear in front of the goal.”
Guardiola’s side are top of the league table with 71 points from 30 games, 14 points ahead of local rivals Manchester United who have a game in hand.