Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said striker Sergio Aguero is close to agreeing a deal to join Barcelona.
Aguero is set to leave at the end of the season as a free agent after City’s Champions League final against Chelsea on Saturday.
The 32-year-old signed off from the Premier League in perfect style on Sunday, scoring twice as the champions finished with a 5-0 win over Everton.
Speaking afterwards, former Barcelona manager Guardiola revealed City’s record goalscorer is on the verge of joining Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi in Spain.
“Maybe I reveal a secret. Maybe he is close to agreeing a deal for the club of my heart – for Barcelona,” Guardiola told Match of the Day.
“He is going to be playing alongside the best player of all time, Messi.”
Barcelona, who won three La Liga and two Champions League titles under Guardiola, came third in La Liga this season, finishing seven points behind champions Atletico Madrid and five behind Real Madrid.
Ronald Koeman’s side were also knocked out at the last-16 stage of the Champions League when losing to Paris Saint-Germain.
“I’m pretty sure he is going to enjoy,” Guardiola added. “And maybe Barcelona are stronger and stronger with him on the pitch.”
‘Being at City an honour’
Aguero, who has won five Premier League titles, told Sky Sports after the win over Everton: “Before the game, I felt so strange, the sensation is not good. I prefer to think about the good moments.
“I’m a striker, my target is to score goals, so I’m so happy because it’s my last game and to score two goals is fantastic for me.
“When I came here the first title for me was the most important, for the club and for me. Then Man City started to win more titles so I’m so happy because it’s not easy to be 10 years at one club, for me, it’s an honour.”
Emotional Pep pays tribute to Aguero
Guardiola also paid an emotional tribute to the Argentinian, whose goals completed a rout after earlier strikes from Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden.
He said: “We love him so much – he is a special person for all of us. We can not replace him. He showed his quality in those 30 minutes.
“It was a perfect end, a fairytale moment. It was so good.
“He made an incredible two goals to finish the game in a good mood and now we have five days to prepare for the final.”
What’s next? Euros, transfer window, 2021/22 key dates
Euro 2020 kicks off on Friday June 11 – just 19 days after the conclusion of the 2020/21 Premier League season – and runs until Sunday July 11.
The 2021/22 Premier League campaign will start on the weekend of Saturday August 14 – 34 days after that Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Clubs will be able to start planning for the new term when the top-flight fixtures are released at 9am on Wednesday, June 16 but transfer business can start in earnest before then, with the summer transfer window opening on Wednesday June 9.
The 2021/22 Championship season begins a week before the top-flight one on the weekend of Saturday August 7. All Sky Bet EFL fixtures will be announced at 9am on Thursday June 24.