Sergio Agüero has announced on his official website that he wants to leave Atlético Madrid.
The Argentine wonderkid and Atlético fan favourite broke Rojiblanco hearts everywhere with the decision, which came after a day of meetings and speculation surrounding the 22-year-old’s future.
Sources in the Spanish media earlier today rumoured that Agüero was looking to leave the club he had joined as a teenager back in 2006.
Speaking on his official homepage, Agüero said that “After five intense years, a personal era has finished and I have to take a step towards the next.
“I said a while back that when I wanted to leave, I would announce it publicly. That moment has arrived.
“It’s difficult for me to leave Atleti. It hurts me and makes me sad. But it’s not difficult for me to explain why I am leaving.”
The announcement is expected to trigger an intense bidding war for his services with Real Madrid and Manchester City the latest clubs to be linked with El Kun.
Chelsea are also rumoured to be interested, along with Liverpool and Juventus.
Agüero scored his first hat-trick for Atlético at the weekend against Mallorca, notching up 101 goals for Atleti in the process.
An English translation of the statement posted on his official website reads:
I have thought about it a lot and I am convinced that I must be true to myself. I believe I should not put a ceiling on the possibility of continuing to learn and grow. After five intense years, a personal era has finished and I have to take a step towards the next. I’m about to turn 23 years old and I have everything ahead of me. It’s needless to say that this is not a financial decision, it is strictly a sporting one. That’s why I would like to clearly express my recognition to the club for its efforts in trying to keep me with a salary corresponding with the biggest institutions of the world.
I would also like to tell them that this decision has been maturing for a long while back. The topic was even discussed and deliberated with Atleti last year when my contract renewal was being negotiated. I wanted to sign, renew, as a way to give back to the club and to all Colchoneros, everything they have given me. Not having done it, I would have been free to go and the club would not have received any money for my transfer.
I was promised by the club that no conditions would be placed on my eventual decision to leave in June 2011. That’s why, attentive to that promise and in consideration that my decision is indeclinable, I have asked the club to listen, unconditionally, to offers that may arrive from other clubs.
And for the supporters, my eternal gratitude. I don’t pretend to be original or to say what is politically correct. I’d rather say that I’m sorry, more than any other consideration. Because I know that the only way that they will understand is if I do it from my heart. That’s the way I felt that they spoke to me all these years, with genuine affection and sincerity. You all are already a part of my identity and of a part of the way that I understand football.
We shared moments of happiness and disappointment. The 101 goals and the attainment of two titles after so many years of drought. I will never forget the celebration at Neptuno, and that night in Barcelona when we could not conquer the Copa del Rey. Well, it was worth it no? All of those experiences ended in reaffirming in me something that I have had since I was a little child: the desire to compete, to win and to be within the best with the only weapons I have: my play and my love for football.
I don’t want to succumb to the common expression that this is not a farewell but an ‘until later’. But to tell you something that I was once told by a very famous Argentine tango dancer, Aníbal Troilo, and that is very appropriate for this moment: “Who said that I left, if I am always coming back.”
A hug for all of you. I love you all.
What would you say to Agüero? Where do you think he will go? Let us know how upset or angry you are!