Manchester City signed Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero as it tries to improve on its third-place finish last season in English soccer’s Premier League.
Aguero, 23, joined on a five-year contract, City said on its website. Financial details weren’t revealed, although U.K. media said the transfer fee is a club-record 38 million pounds ($62 million). In all, he’ll cost City a total 90 million pounds in fees and his 200,000 pound-a-week salary, the Sun reported.
“I asked my agents to do everything they could because this was a good club and I’d always wanted to play in the Premier League,” Aguero said in an interview with City’s television station broadcast on the club’s website. “It’s a good club and it felt right.”
City’s league position in 2010-11 earned it a place in the coming season’s Champions League, its first participation in the elite club competition. Boosted by the investment of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who bought the club in 2008, City last season won its first trophy in 35 years, the F.A. Cup. Since then it’s already added defenders Gael Clichy from Arsenal and Stefan Savic from Partizan Belgrade, bringing off-season spending to almost 50 million pounds.
Aguero began his professional career with Buenos Aires team Independiente before joining Atletico in 2006.
He was a gold medal winner with Argentina at the 2008 Olympics and represented the nation at the 2010 World Cup, and in this year’s Copa America, reaching the quarterfinals in both.
At Atletico he scored 74 goals in 175 league games, and helped the club beat Fulham 2-1 in the 2010 Europa League final.
Nicknamed “Kun” for his likeness to a Japanese cartoon character, Aguero is the son-in-law of former Argentina player and coach Diego Maradona. Aguero had been seen as a possible replacement for City striker Carlos Tevez, whose potential move to Brazil’s Corinthians recently collapsed.
Sheikh Mansour has spent more than $1 billion on City since purchasing it in September 2008 as the club tries to close the gap on rival Manchester United, which last season won its record 19th league title. As well as signing Tevez from United, players recruited have included Kolo and Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gareth Barry, James Milner and Spain’s David Silva.
“I think we are a team that in the future will be fighting every year to win major trophies, and let’s hope it’s quite a few major trophies,” Aguero said.
After a deal announced earlier this month, City will earn more than 300 million pounds in a 10-year sponsorship agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways. City’s accounts for the year ended May 31, 2010, show it lost 121.3 million pounds, 31 percent more than a year earlier.