Record goalscorer Sergio Aguero will leave Manchester City at the end of the season, the club has announced.
The 32-year-old striker’s contract expires at the end of the season and he has been told it will not be renewed.
The Argentine, who signed from Atletico Madrid in 2011, has scored 257 goals in 384 appearances for the club.
“With the guidance of the owners and the contributions of many players, we earned a place among the greatest of the world,” Aguero said.
He will be honoured by a statue at Etihad Stadium, alongside Vincent Kompany and David Silva.
Aguero has played a leading role in City’s renaissance in recent years, famously scoring the injury-time winner against QPR in 2012 which clinched the club’s first English title in 44 years.
Since then, he has helped City win three more Premier League titles, one FA Cup and five League Cups.
“Sergio’s contribution to Manchester City over the last 10 years cannot be overstated,” City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said.
“His legend will be indelibly etched into the memories of everyone who loves the club and maybe even in those who simply love football.”
Aguero has played a peripheral role this season, because of injury and illness, as City chase a quadruple of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.
However, former City defender Micah Richards – who won the title alongside Aguero in the 2011-12 season – thinks the Argentine still has a lot to offer.
“Unless you get [Kylian] Mbappe, [Erling Braut] Haaland or [Harry] Kane, what striker are you going to get to replace him? You get another year out of him,” Richards told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club.
“We don’t know the full details – he might want to leave. But if he is being forced out, that’s another story.”
‘Even a month ago, Aguero thought he could stay’ – analysis
Simon Stone, BBC Sport football reporter
This is major news – even if it had been half expected given Aguero’s lack of game time.
The prolific striker has made only 14 appearances this season, partly through injury but even after recovering from the knee problem that ruled him out of the end of last term, he has regularly been overlooked as manager Pep Guardiola opted to select either Gabriel Jesus in the number nine role or play without an orthodox striker altogether.
As Guardiola is known to want a striker for next season and has already been heavily linked with Borussia Dortmund’s prolific forward Erling Braut Haaland, it was obvious keeping Aguero was not certain, even though as recently as a month ago, sources close to the player felt it was possible he could stay.
Now the club has confirmed that will not happen, it will be fascinating to see where he ends up.
Barcelona have previously asked about Aguero’s availability and given the constraints around their finances, it cannot be ruled out that is where the 32-year-old will end up, especially if the club are successful in persuading Lionel Messi to stay.
More to follow.