Sergio Aguero's future at Manchester City has been cast into doubt
Sergio Aguero has been benched for City's last two Premier League games following the arrival of Brazilian Gabriel Jesus and is set to remain among the substitutes for tonight's visit to Bournemouth.
After last Sunday's win over Swansea, Aguero raised doubts over his future by saying he would have to see what the club wanted to do with him this summer – while insisting he was still happy there.
Senior City officials moved quickly to insist they have no intention of selling a player who has scored 154 goals since joining them from Atletico Madrid for £38million in 2011.
Pep Guardiola insists Aguero's future is in his own hands
But Guardiola has now fuelled the speculation. "I would like him to stay but I don't know what is going to happen," he said. "Even in my career I didn't know what would happen at the end of the season.
"Sergio knows the intention of his manager and the club. I don't want to sell him, I want him to stay here for a long time, until he decides.
"He remains a top player and an important one for us to achieve our goals. I don't have doubts about that. I know how difficult it is to find top goal scorers. I know his level and I know what he has done for the club. At the end of the season I don't know."
Guardiola says he has not picked Aguero in recent games because he has been impressed by the pace, movement and work-rate of Gabriel, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane.
Gabriel Jesus' impressive form has kept Aguero out of City's starting XI
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"The reason Sergio has not played the last two games is because we have three players in top form," he said. "That's the only reason why. Leroy, Gabriel and Raheem have played amazing.
"They are so dynamic, all three. Without the ball, they are so aggressive in terms of pressure, so they don't have too much time to think about the central defenders.
"All of them are so good making runs in behind and good in transition between the lines. And they are so young, all around 20 years old.
"It's not easy for a young guy like Jesus to come here and settle in a city immediately during a season but everyone has seen what he's done, not just with the ball but without the ball."
Aguero is set to be joined on the bench again by Claudio Bravo with Guardiola likely to keep faith with No2 goalkeeper Willy Cabellero after he conceded only once in the last three games.