Man City chairman says Aguero won't leave, hopes Toure stays
ABS-CBN Sports on May 31, 2017 10:55 AM
FILE - This is a file photo of Manchester City's Yaya Toure, left, and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrate after the English Premier League soccer match against West Ham at the London stadium, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Describing Pep Guardiola’s failure to win a trophy as a “disappointment,” Manchester City’s chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak laid out the English club’s plans to furnish its coach with “some of the best talent in the world” in another summer of heavy spending. A fresh batch of new signings does not spell the end for long-time City players Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, though. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein/ File)
STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Describing Pep Guardiola's failure to win a trophy as a "disappointment," Manchester City's chairman laid out the English club's plans to furnish its coach with "some of the best talent in the world" in another offseason of big spending.
A flurry of new signings does not spell the end for long-time City players Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, though.
In his annual end-of-season review, Khaldoon Al-Mubarak said City was "truly going in a direction that is positive" under Guardiola, even though City finished third in the Premier League, was eliminated from the Champions League in the last 16, and didn't reach the final of either domestic cup.
"From that perspective, the season has been a disappointment," he said in an in-house interview, before adding: "We are playing a type of football that is very exciting, very entertaining, that I think the fans will grow to love. The results will come, I have no doubt."
Ahead of Guardiola's first season, City spent close to $200 million on new players and Al-Mubarak said the club will back the Spaniard in another spending spree this year.
Attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva has already joined from Monaco for a reported 43 million pounds ($55 million), and Al-Mubarak confirmed City are in the market for full backs and a goalkeeper among a list of targets. Goalkeeper Ederson Moraes is reportedly close to signing from Benfica — Al-Mubarak said there will "soon" be news regarding the arrival of a keeper — and City has been heavily linked with Tottenham right back Kyle Walker and Monaco left back Benjamin Mendy.
"We are going to go and get some of the best talent in the world to be part of this strategy we have been pursuing," Al-Mubarak said. "This cycle started last summer and this summer we should expect the same.
"We know exactly what Pep wants. Pep, more importantly, knows what he wants, who he wants, and I hope we are successful in bringing in who wants."
Al-Mubarak said Aguero will not be leaving City, even though the striker expressed doubts about his future during this season when his starting place came under pressure from Gabriel Jesus.
"Sergio Aguero is one of the best players in the world and we are a team that aspires to win every competition that we compete in," the City chairman said. "Having Sergio as part of the squad is an absolute must. It's never been in doubt."
Al-Mubarak also wants Toure to "continue his journey with us," with the midfielder out of contract next month after seven years at City. Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Willy Caballero and Jesus Navas have all been released, but Toure's future is still undecided. He may have to take a pay cut to stay at Etihad Stadium, however.
Guardiola plays a way that requires "a set of players that function in that system," Al-Mubarak said, and City's board "will support Pep in completing that puzzle."
"There's nothing that annoys me more than people calling or sending me messages, congratulating me on third place," he said. "Actually, my answer was pretty standard to everyone, don't congratulate me on getting third, there's nothing to congratulate ... there's nothing to celebrate."
Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80