Meet Manchester United target Sergio Aguero - the next, next Maradona
24 June 2009 12:30
Manchester United are interested in Atletico Madrid starlet Sergio Aguero - but with Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona also interested, Sir Alex Ferguson is not his own admirer.
The Argentina striker - once Liverpool striker Fernando Torres's understudy at Atleti - Sportsmail discovers he has some influential supporters.
Smaller than average Argentine No 10, he must be the next Maradona. Actually, after Lionel Messi he's the next, next Maradona, according to some rather unimaginative observers.
What's the verdict of the great man himself? Maradona used to call Barcelona star Messi his successor, but has since blasted the 22-year-old's selfishness and told him to learn from Aguero.
High praise for a player who hasn't yet made the headlines as much as Messi. Perhaps Diego should declare an interest: Aguero is getting married to the World Cup 86star's daughter Giannina and the couple delivered the great man's first grandchild, Benjamin, in February.
So we will soon see the next, next, next Maradona. Indeed. And to celebrate, Diego and his future son-in-law recorded a cheesy song in which Aguero sings: 'Friend, I tell you that I will take care of your treasure.'
Er, OK, is he better at his day job? Just a bit. After Fernando Torres left Atletico for Liverpool in 2007 he shouldered the burden by hitting 23 goals in 43 appearances. Last season he notched 21 in 45 games. With his country he has won two Under 20 World Cups as well as an Olympic gold medal and has broken into the senior team.
Wow! He sounds more of a predator than provider. Barca coach Pep Guardiola and 1986 World Cup winner Jorge Valdano both recently described him as more like Brazil goal poacher Romario than Argentina's favourite son.
Impressive. So are we really likely to see him in the Barclays Premier League soon? Before United's interest, Chelsea were keen but were stunned by his wage demands above £200,000 a week. Liverpool had a look at him a couple of years ago before his £13.5million move to Spain and Torres would like to link up with him again. All the big clubs know who he is but Atletico have set his buyout clause at more than £50m.
Has he played in this country? Yes, against Bolton in the UEFA Cup two seasons ago but would rather you forgot. He was a 59th-minute substitute only to be sent off 14 minutes later for spitting. Injury meant he was restricted to 19 minutes in Atleti's 1-1 draw at Anfield in the Champions League last season.
Why does he have 'Kun' on the back of his shirt? It's a nickname he has kept from childhood. He supposedly looked like a Japanese cartoon character.