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Pep Guardiola wants Sergio Agüero to "stay for a long time" at Manchester City

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Maybe that can kill the rumors!

Manchester City v Burnley - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Manchester City superstar Sergio Agüero has been linked with a departure from the Etihad ever since Gabriel Jesus arrived and sent the Argentine to the bench, but City manager Pep Guardiola confirmed that there are no plans to sell City's top striker.

The rumors gained traction when Agüero said in an interview last week that he 'was waiting to see what the club decided to do with him', a clear indication that Sergio was worried about being sold by City at the end of the season to stick with Jesus as the main man for the future.

Agüero has since been linked with Real Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Chelsea, but Guardiola wants nothing to do with the rumors and made clear that the decision to stay or go is up to Sergio, and Sergio only.

"I don't want to sell him -- I want him to stay here for a long time until he decides", Guardiola said. He also explained the reason why the striker was benched in the last two matches, which also indicates that Agüero could once again be a substitute in City's Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth on Monday.

"The reasons he has not played the last two games are because Leroy [Sane], Gabriel [Jesus] and Raheem [Sterling] have played amazing. That's the only reason why.

"If I can change the model and play all four... but I am a guy who likes to play midfield players to have more control. What I feel now is that if Leroy, Gabriel or Raheem don't play then he will be in for them.

"He remains a top player and an important one for us to achieve our goals. I don't have doubts about that."

But the future is unknown, and there is a chance Agüero actually leaves City at the end of the season, and Guardiola admitted that possibility.

"At the end of the season, I don't know. I know how difficult it is to find top goal scorers. I would like him to stay but I don't know what is going to happen. Even in my career I didn't know what would happen at the end of the season.

"I was clear every time we spoke with Sergio from the beginning. I know his strengths. I know he's trying. I know how much he fought against Tottenham and how many chances he had.

"But at Palace I saw three guys in front with a high intensity and said: 'Wow, I like what they do.'"