Sergio Aguero's father reveals Arsenal and Chelsea were both interested in signing his son

Sergio Aguero's father claims both Arsenal and Chelsea were interested in signing his son on a free transfer 'until the last minute'.

The 33-year-old striker was unveiled as the first of three signings Barcelona have made this week, with the Argentine agreeing a two-year deal at Camp Nou once his deal at Manchester City expires at the end of this month.

The striker leaves the Etihad Stadium as City's all-time top-scorer on 260 goals and a five-time winner of the Premier League.

And speaking to Radio La Red, the Argentina international's father Leonel insisted there was interest from clubs to keep him in England, but added his son is now 'happy' to have linked up with close friend Lionel Messi at the Catalan giants.

'My son was waiting right up to the last moment to renew with City but it didn't happen', the elder Aguero said.

'He didn't know what was going to happen with his future. There were several clubs interested in signing him.

'Arsenal were interested in him and Chelsea to the last minute. If he didn't stay in England, it was going to be Italy or Spain.

'He is happy right now after signing for Barcelona. I see him happy. He's been friends with Lionel Messi since they were 15 and they've always talked.

'It looks like Messi is going to stay at Barcelona so they're going to play together.'

Aguero was given an emotional send-off in his final game at the Etihad, with the forward netting twice in a 5-0 win against Everton on the final day of the season.

City boss Pep Guardiola then broke down in tears in a post-match interview with Sky after City had lifted their third Premier League trophy in four years, hailing the Aguero as a 'special person' and insisted City 'cannot replace him'.

But Leonel - who is also his son's agent - instead hit out at the Catalan boss, accusing him of shedding crocodile tears in the interview.

Asked if Guardiola's tears had moved him, Leonel said: 'No, I don't believe him. He was never sincere with my son. He never wanted him in my opinion.

'He wants to be the protagonist in his clubs rather than the player.'

Admitting Guardiola had changed football and his training sessions were 'very good and intense', he added: 'From one day to the next he changes the players, he changes the midfield, you never know if you're the main choice player or not.

'As Sergio said, things always depend on the club and the manager of the moment and that happens everywhere.

'They say your time is up at the club and the only option you've got left is to leave.'

Leonel is not the first member of the Aguero family to speak out against Guardiola, with the striker's brother Mauricio tweeting shortly after City lost the Champions League final to Chelsea on Saturday: 'Guardiola never wanted my brother since his arrival at City.'

He then erased the message saying there were too 'many toxic people, too many' but when warned the message had been seen by another Twitter user, he responded: 'Perfect, I'm glad people have seen it. And I'll write it again if I want.'

Aguero's father also confirmed his son - part of Argentina's Copa America squad - does not have coronavirus. A positive result came from a rapid test but a subsequent PCR test came back negative.

Leonel also confirmed Aguero did not receive a Covid-19 jab while he was in England.

Barcelona have also gone on to unveil Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal this week to strengthen their backline following the confirmation of Aguero's next move.

Spain international Garcia also joins after running down his deal at City, while Barcelona triggered a £7.8million buy option in Emerson's Real Betis contract on Wednesday.

The Catalan side are now looking to strengthen in other areas, with the club looking to sign Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay in the coming weeks.

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