Sergio Aguero can lay claim to being the greatest striker in Premier League history, according to former Manchester City team-mate Richard Dunne.

The Argentina international confirmed on Monday that he would leave City when his contract expires at the end of this season, bringing an end to his 10-year spell with the club.

Aguero joined from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and has established himself as a City legend, his 257 goals representing a club record.

He has won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and five EFL Cups at City, with a fifth top-flight title on the horizon this term and silverware still up for grabs domestically and in the Champions League.

With Aguero's stunning goal haul having come in 384 games, Dunne put the 32-year-old top of his all-time list of Premier League forwards for his remarkable consistency.

"I don't think you'd ever put him behind anybody," the former City defender told Stats Perform News.

"I think the way that he plays, all them strikers we speak about historically have scored a lot of goals, all different types of players.

"I certainly wouldn't put Aguero behind any of them, I think he's a player who could have played in any team, in any era or generation.

"It all comes down to who's your favourite, who's your preferred sort of striker. There's plenty who will say Aguero is the best – his goalscoring ratio is fantastic.

"He's been a bit unfortunate, because he tended to miss little periods of every season, but always managed to get over the 20 goals.

"He was someone that you could just rely on massively. Someone who when you'd go into a big game, and you need the goals, he's a name that you would go, he's starting because he's just incredible."

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak revealed a statue of Aguero has already been commissioned to stand alongside those of his former team-mates, David Silva and Vincent Kompany, outside the Etihad Stadium.

Dunne said that would be a fitting tribute for a player whose impending departure from City is likely to have put a host of big clubs on high alert, with the Irishman tipping him to join compatriot Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

"I'd imagine there'd be loads of interested parties," said Dunne. "Teams at the top end of European football, will still believe that they can get another couple of seasons out of Aguero.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see him go to Barcelona. He obviously seems to be close friends with Messi as well. It would be a nice fit for the pair of them."

Aguero's glittering legacy has at its centre the last-gasp goal he scored against Queens Park Rangers to secure a 3-2 win and with it City's first Premier League title in 2012. 

Ilkay Gundogan would welcome the appointment of Pep Guardiola as Joachim Low's successor should the Manchester City manager become available.

Low announced earlier this month that he will leave his role with the national side after the delayed European Championship finals, which are scheduled to begin in June.

A number of high-profile names have been linked with the soon-to-be vacant position, with City boss Guardiola deemed to be an outside contender for the job.

Gundogan has spent the past five seasons playing under the Catalan at the Etihad Stadium and is enjoying the best campaign of his career in terms of goal involvements.

While the ex-Borussia Dortmund midfielder would like to work with Guardiola at international level, he accepts that is unlikely to be possible anytime soon.

"I would personally hire him instantly but I think that would be difficult as he is not currently available," he said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"I also don't know if I would like to be without him at City. Besides, I owe a lot to Joachim and I want him to leave on a high."

City remain on course for a quadruple this campaign in what will be all-time leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero's last at the club.

The Argentina international confirmed on Monday he will be leaving at the end of the season and Gundogan is hopeful his team-mate can bow out on a high.

"He has done incredible things and contributed a lot to us being where we are now," he said. "We still have him for a few weeks and hopefully we can see him off with some success."

Aguero has already won the Premier League four times during his decade with City, the most memorable being the first of those in 2011-12.

He scored a dramatic winner against QPR on the final day to ensure City finished above Manchester United, a moment that still lives with Gundogan, who was with Dortmund at the time.

"I still get goosebumps when I see his legendary goal with original commentary," Gundogan added.

Gundogan's focus for now is on Wednesday's World Cup 2022 qualifier against North Macedonia as Germany aim to make it three wins from three in Group J.

The 30-year-old played the entirety of the victories over Iceland and Romania, but he is not taking his place in the side for granted ahead of Euro 2020.

"We have a number of top-class players here," he said. "It is very good for us to have that level of competition. Now it is down to the coach to distribute the right tasks.

"I want to play and I'm confident that I should be playing. I had a similar feeling in 2018 but only played one half against Sweden [at the World Cup].

"I've always felt I deserved to play, but you have to accept the decisions of others."

Low confirmed on Tuesday that Gundogan is in contention to skipper Germany at the MSV-Arena in Duisburg with regular captain Manuel Neuer being rested for the match.

Timo Werner only joined Chelsea at the start of the season, but could he leave Stamford Bridge?

Premier League giants Chelsea are among the clubs interested in Erling Haaland.

But reports claim Chelsea are not prepared to sanction a Werner exit.

 

TOP STORY – NO CHELSEA EXIT FOR WERNER

Chelsea are not planning on selling Timo Werner as they eye Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to Telegraph.

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea have been heavily linked with Haaland, who is also being targeted by Real Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

But Chelsea are against the idea of parting with Werner or using the German forward in a deal to prise Haaland to Stamford Bridge after one season in London.

 

ROUND-UP

Barca are eyeing a move for Sergio Aguero after City announced their all-time leading goalscorer will leave the club on a free transfer at season's end, claims Fabrizio Romano. Inter, Chelsea and PSG have also been linked.

- Gazzetta dello Sport reports Kalidou Koulibaly is likely to leave Napoli at the end of the season. Koulibaly has been linked with United, PSG and Bayern Munich previously.

- While a Koulibaly departure is on the cards, could legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon arrive? Gazzetta dello Sport claims Napoli are interested in the Juventus great, who is searching for regular football.

Cristiano Ronaldo will decide his future before May, according to Tuttosport. The Juventus superstar has been linked with former clubs Madrid and United, as well as PSG.

- Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic, Torino captain Andrea Belotti, PSV's Donyell Malen, AZ's Myron Boadu and Celtic star Odsonne Edouard are on Milan's shortlist of strikers in the transfer window, reports Calciomercato.

- The Athletic and other outlets claim Liverpool are nearing a deal to sign RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate. Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche played down the possible transfer in an interview with Stats Perform News.

Sergio Aguero will leave Manchester City at the end of the 2020-21 campaign with his status as one of the club's greatest ever players well and truly cemented. 

The Argentina international made an immediate impact upon joining from Atletico Madrid in 2011, plundering 23 top-flight goals – including a dramatic stoppage-time winner against QPR on the final day of the season – in his debut season to help City to a first-ever Premier League title. 

He has not looked back from there, scoring goal after goal to help City to three more Premier League crowns, one FA Cup and five EFL Cups. 

The 32-year-old became City's record scorer in November 2017 when he struck in a Champions League win over Napoli, breaking Eric Brook's 78-year record.

Using Opta data, we look at how Aguero's record in front of goal stacks up against his City team-mates, Premier League rivals and European football's heavy hitters. 

Aguero untouchable as City's leading marksman

No City player comes close to Aguero's simply outstanding scoring record in the Premier League.

His goal against Fulham earlier this month was his 181st in 271 games in the competition, giving him a minutes-per-goal ratio of 108.34. 

The nearest player to that ratio is Edin Dzeko, who scored a goal every 141.62 minutes for City in the English top flight. 

City's second-highest scorer in the Premier League is Raheem Sterling, who is a whopping 104 goals adrift of Aguero on 77. 

Behind Sterling is Yaya Toure (62), David Silva (60), Carlos Tevez (58) and Dzeko (50).

In esteemed Premier League company

Aguero's next destination is unknown but if, as expected, he does leave the Premier League, he will exit as one of its greatest players. 

Indeed, only three players have scored more than him in the competition: Alan Shearer (260), Wayne Rooney (208) and Andrew Cole (187). 

All three, however, required significantly more minutes to score each goal, Aguero's 108.34 rate comfortably better than Shearer's 146.86, Rooney's 182.78 and Cole's 169.14. 

The nearest player to Aguero's rate in the Premier League's all-time top 30 goalscorers is Arsenal icon Thierry Henry, who took 121.79 minutes to score each of his 175 goals in the English top-flight.

Amongst Europe's elite finishers

If Aguero decides to move back to his native Argentina, his legacy as one of European football's most deadly strikers this millennium is secure. 

Only five players – Cristiano Ronaldo (470), Lionel Messi (467), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (293), Robert Lewandowski (271) and Edinson Cavani (256) – have scored more goals in Europe's 'big five' leagues than Aguero's 255 across his spells with Atleti and City. 

His minutes-per-goal rate jumps slightly to 128.89 when factoring in his time in LaLiga, which puts him 10th in the list of players to have scored more than 150 goals in the major European leagues since January 2000. 

Wherever he ends up next season, one thing is guaranteed: goals.

Sergio Aguero intends to "continue competing at the highest level" after announcing he will leave Manchester City at the end of the season. 

It was revealed on Monday that City's record goalscorer will bring down the curtain on a stunning, trophy-laden 10-year stay at the Etihad Stadium when his contract expires in June. 

The Argentina international has won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and five EFL Cups at City, scoring 257 goals in 384 appearances.

He could add four more trophies to that haul this season – including the coveted Champions League – with Pep Guardiola's side still in a position to seal an unprecedented quadruple. 

In a statement posted on social media, Aguero paid tribute to City's fans and revealed his next destination will not be a step down.

"A huge sense of satisfaction and pride remains in me for having played with Manchester City for a whole 10 seasons – unusual for a professional player in this day and age," he wrote.

"Ten seasons with major achievements, throughout which I was able to become the top historic goalscorer and forging an indestructible bond with all those who love this club; people who will always be in my heart.

"I was to join during the reconstruction era of 2011, and with the guidance of the owners and the contributions of many players, we earned a place among the greatest of the world.

"The task to maintain this well-deserved privileged position will remain on others. As for myself, I will continue to give it my utmost for the rest of the season to win more titles and bring more joy to the fans.

"Then, a new stage with new challenges will begin, and I am ready to face them with the same passion and professionalism that I have always dedicated to continue competing at the highest level."

Sergio Aguero will leave Manchester City at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, the club have confirmed.

Aguero is the club's record goalscorer with 257 goals and will bring to an end a glittering 10-year stint at the club when his contract expires in June.

He joined from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and has gone on to cement his position as one of the club's greatest ever players.

The Argentina international has won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and five EFL Cups at City.

He is likely to win a fifth English top-flight crown this season, with City 14 points clear of second-place Manchester United, while they will also contest next month's EFL Cup final with Spurs.

Aguero's 257 goals cane in 384 appearances for City, with unquestionably his most famous strike coming against QPR in May 2012.

United looked set to seal the Premier League title on the final day of the season, but Aguero popped up deep into stoppage time to secure a 3-2 win and deliver City's first-ever Premier League crown.

He became City's record scorer in November 2017 when he struck in a Champions League win over Napoli, breaking Eric Brook's 78-year record.

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak revealed a statue of Aguero has already been commissioned to stand alongside those of his former team-mates, David Silva and Vincent Kompany, outside the Etihad Stadium.

Al Mubarak told the club's official website: "Sergio's contribution to Manchester City over the last 10 years cannot be overstated. His legend will be indelibly etched into the memories of everyone who loves the club and maybe even in those who simply love football.

"This is not yet the moment for farewell words and speeches. There is still much to achieve in the remainder of the time we have with Sergio, and we look forward to his contributions to the challenges which lay ahead.

"We look forward to the opportunity to bid Sergio a fitting farewell at the end of the season."

Aguero – the Premier League's highest-scoring overseas player – has endured an injury-hit 2020-21.

He has made just 14 appearances across all competitions, scoring three goals – the most recent of which came in a 3-0 win over Fulham earlier this month.

Sergio Aguero will leave Manchester City at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, the club have confirmed.

Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe have been tipped to join Real Madrid.

But could Romelu Lukaku swap Inter for Madrid?

Madrid are reportedly keen on the in-form star.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID TRACKING LUKAKU

Real Madrid are interested in Inter star Romelu Lukaku, according to the Telegraph via Mundo Deportivo.

LaLiga champions Madrid have been heavily linked with Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

But Madrid are ready to bid for Lukaku, who is also reportedly wanted by former club Chelsea and Spanish giants Barcelona.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca reports Atletico Madrid will not lower their asking price for star midfielder Marcos Llorente, who has been linked with Manchester United as well as City. Atletico will only begin negotiations if his £103million (€120m) release clause is triggered.

- Cuatro says Madrid do not want Cristiano Ronaldo to return from Juve as Mbappe and Haaland are their primary targets. United and PSG are both interested in Ronaldo.

Liverpool and Chelsea are chasing Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard, claims Diario AS. Odegaard is currently on loan at Arsenal, who want to make the deal permanent.

- ASRomaLive.it says Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette is wanted by Serie A side Roma, who are also eyeing Torino captain and Milan target Andrea Belotti.

Barca, Juventus and PSG are lining up to sign City veteran Sergio Aguero, reports Marca. Aguero is out of contract at season's end. Inter and Chelsea have also been linked.

- Fabrizio Romano says Madrid are still leading the race to sign Bayern Munich's soon-to-be free agent David Alaba, who has also been linked with Barca, Liverpool and PSG.

- Bundesliga champions Bayern are working to extend Leon Goretzka's contract, according to Romano.

Liverpool have set their sights on Torino right-back Wilfried Singo, claims Tuttosport. The 20-year-old has also caught Milan's attention.

Another day, another Erling Haaland rumour.

Haaland's future is dominating headlines amid widespread interest in Europe.

Barcelona are reportedly interested in the Borussia Dortmund sensation.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI OUT, HAALAND IN?

Barcelona have identified Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland as a top transfer priority if Lionel Messi leaves at the end of the season, according to Diario AS.

Messi is out of contract at season's end and the superstar Barca captain has been tipped to join either Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City.

Should Messi depart, Haaland is wanted by Barca and head coach Ronald Koeman, though all eyes will be on Lyon forward Memphis Depay if the former remains at Camp Nou.

Haaland has also been linked with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus, PSG, Liverpool and City.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano claims City are convinced Kevin De Bruyne will sign a new contract with the club. Raheem Sterling's contract is also on the agenda, while soon-to-be free agent Sergio Aguero will decide his future in the coming weeks. Aguero has been linked with Inter, Barca and Chelsea.

United are set to challenge Madrid in the chase to sign Villarreal defender Pau Torres, reports The Mirror. United are keen to bolster their defence amid links with Madrid pair Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, Sevilla's Jules Kounde and RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate.

- Calciomercato says Inter will reject any offers for star Romelu Lukaku. It comes as Chelsea and Barca reportedly eye the in-form Belgian.

Barca are monitoring the future of Valencia star Jose Luis Gaya, according to Diario AS. The captain is negotiating a new contract with Valencia.

- Napoli and Spain midfielder Fabian Ruiz is wanted by LaLiga trip Barca, Madrid and Atletico Madrid, claims Diario Sport.

- Mundo Deportivo reports Arsenal are considering a move for Real Betis star Nabil Fekir amid doubts over loanees Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos.

Could Manchester United turn to a Wolves star?

United have long been linked with Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho.

But the Red Devils are reportedly interested in Pedro Neto.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED PLAN NETO SWOOP

Manchester United are considering a £50million move for Wolves star Pedro Neto , according to The Sun.

Borussia Dortmund's  Jadon Sancho  has topped United's list of attacking targets – the Premier League giants almost signed the England international at the start of the season.

But United see Portuguese winger Neto as an alternative at Old Trafford.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun reports Serie A leaders Inter have joined the chase for Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero , who is out of contract at season's end. City's all-time leading goalscorer has been linked with Barcelona , Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea . The Nerazzurri are also reportedly monitoring Edinson Cavani 's situation. The United forward, who signed a one-year deal at the start of the season, is rumoured to be talking to Boca Juniors .

Real Madrid will pay David Alaba , his father and agent €20m if he arrives from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, claims Mundo Deportivo. Alaba's contract will expire at the end of the season and the Austria international has been tipped to move to the Santiago Bernabeu. However, Barca , Liverpool and PSG have also been linked.

- Calciomercato says Roma , Inter and Milan are interested in Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso .

Milan are considering a move for CSKA Moscow star Nikola Vlasic  should Hakan Calhanoglu leave on a free transfer, reports Calciomercato. While the Croatia international has a €35m release clause for foreign clubs, Russian giants CSKA could settle for €28-30m.

What does the future hold for Sergio Aguero?

With his Manchester City contract expiring at the end of the season, Aguero is no closer to re-signing.

Premier League rivals Chelsea could be ready to pounce…

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA KEEPING TABS ON AGUERO

Chelsea are tracking Manchester City star and soon-to-be free agent Sergio Aguero, according to the Daily Mail.

Aguero is out of contract at the end of the season and the City forward has been tipped to join LaLiga giants Barcelona.

But Premier League rivals Chelsea are reportedly eyeing a move for City's all-time leading goalscorer.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail reports City and Chelsea are both interested in Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud. Tottenham and Everton have also been linked with the Germany international.

Juventus are eyeing a move for star Atalanta wing-back Robin Gosens, claims Calciomercato. Gosens has starred for Atalanta, who value him between €35-€40million.

- FootMercato says Paris Saint-Germain want Tottenham full-back Serge Aurier as former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino seeks a reunion.

- Fabrizio Romano reports Manchester United have not made a bid for Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic. United have also been linked with RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate, Sevilla's Jules Kounde, Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and team-mate Raphael Varane, as well as Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White.

- In-demand Dortmund star Erling Haaland has a "crush" on Madrid but El Chiringuito insists no club is close to signing the Norwegian. Haaland has been linked with Madrid, Barca, United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool, PSG and Juventus.

Atalanta will hope to keep Italy's Champions League interest alive in Tuesday's last-16 second legs.

Gian Piero Gasperini's men have the simple tasking of overturning a 1-0 deficit away to Real Madrid, the most successful club in the competition's history and winners of four of the past seven tournaments.

Zinedine Zidane's men have struggled for consistency in 2020-21 but the Champions League traditionally brings out their best, while Atalanta's visit could also be one to celebrate for Toni Kroos.

Madrid may be confident in their chances, but Manchester City are in an even more enviable position, having won 2-0 away to Borussia Monchengladbach in their first leg.

Gladbach have struggled badly since the announcement that Marco Rose will be leaving for Borussia Dortmund ahead of next season, losing six games in a row in all competitions, and they could represent good opposition for Sergio Aguero, who is chasing a milestone goal.

 

Real Madrid (1) v Atalanta (0): Can Gasperini's men restore national pride in Spain?

Atalanta enjoyed their only previous visit to Spain in European competition, winning 4-3 at Valencia at this stage of last season's competition to secure a sensational 8-4 aggregate victory, with Josip Ilicic scoring all four goals.

However, history is not on their side this time. Italian teams have lost 11 of their previous 12 games against Madrid and conceded at least twice in 10 of those matches. You have to go back to Juventus in November 2008 to find an Italian side who stopped Los Blancos scoring.

Madrid have progressed from eight of the past nine Champions League knockout ties in which they have won the first leg, the exception being two years ago, when Ajax caused a shock with a 4-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, more recent form may give them reason for concern.

Madrid have gone four home knockout games without a win, while Atalanta have not conceded an away Champions League goal this season and are enjoying a five-game winning run on their travels, the best such sequence of any side in the competition.

Toni Kroos could be in for a milestone match. The midfielder could become only the second German outfield player to start 100 Champions League matches, after Bayern Munich great Philipp Lahm, who finished on 110.

With Eden Hazard injured once more, Zidane could do with Marco Asensio ending his goal drought. The Spain international has attempted 14 shots in six games, the most of any player left in the competition who has failed to score a goal.

Manchester City (2) v Borussia Monchengladbach (0): Bundesliga side hoping for miracle

Gladbach's last visit to City ended in a 4-0 loss, their joint-heaviest away defeat in the competition. In fact, City are unbeaten in five meetings with Tuesday's opponents and have scored at least twice in each of their four victories.

Pep Guardiola's first Champions League game in charge was a 4-0 home win over Gladbach, with City having won more games (16) and scored more goals (59) in home matches than any other English side in the competition in that time. They are on a run of 10 wins in 11 European games at the Etihad Stadium, in which they have averaged 3.5 goals per match.

Gladbach enjoyed a superb group stage but, since consecutive 6-0 and 4-0 wins over Shakhtar Donetsk, they have lost three games in a row and failed to score in their previous two. It is hard to look beyond a comfortable City victory.

Aguero will hope for another start, and should the Argentinian score, he will reach 20 goals in 29 Champions League games under Guardiola. That would draw him level with Thomas Muller and leave him behind only Lionel Messi (43) for the most goals scored in the competition under the former Barcelona boss.

Pep Guardiola and John Stones expressed their joy after seeing Sergio Aguero end a long Premier League goal drought in Manchester City's 3-0 win at Fulham on Sunday.

Aguero has been plagued by injuries over the past year or so and was without a goal in the top flight since January 21, 2020.

But he finally ended that dry spell in the second half at Craven Cottage, converting a penalty won by Ferran Torres after he robbed – and was hauled down by – former City youngster Tosin Adarabioyo.

Aguero had previously gone 13 appearances, 641 minutes of play and 24 shots without netting in the league, according to Opta, with his last goal coming against Sheffield United 417 days ago.

The 32-year-old's penalty completed a comfortable win that had been set in motion by John Stones' fifth goal of the season and Gabriel Jesus' eighth in his last 10 starts.

When asked about Aguero finding the net, Guardiola told Sky Sports: "It was important for him [Aguero]. To score goals is everything for him.

"Gabriel as well, and Ferran played an incredibly good game too. All the team was brilliant."

Aguero has been limited to just seven Premier League appearances this term, and even when fit he has had to be patient for opportunities, with Guardiola routinely opting to instead deploy a 'false nine' this term.

While the Argentinian forward was otherwise quiet, having just one other shot in the entire match, Stones was clearly pleased for his teammate.

Stones added: "I'm really happy for Sergio to get that scoring feeling back.

"We all know how good he is and I'm really happy to see him on the scoresheet, as I'm sure every City fan is."

Victory for City increased their lead at the Premier League summit to 17 points with just eight matches to go, though second-placed Manchester United do have a couple of games in hand.

Nevertheless, Stones acknowledged the end-of-season prizes are starting to come into sight, but Guardiola stressed they cannot lose focus now.

The Catalan coach said to BBC Sport: "Wins help to win the next game - of course, a different competition. There is not a second option in the next game [against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League]. We will prepare our best and try to do well to get in the next stage."

"We travel to Budapest now and prepare for another 'final' [last-16 second leg] before we get ready for the quarter-final of the FA Cup.

"I will arrive well [with a fresh squad] in Budapest through rotating. Sometimes the players don't believe me, I want everyone involved. Sometimes it is difficult but everyone has to make a contribution to win games and we will arrive at the end of the season fighting as best as possible."

Stones added: "We've always had that fighting spirit. The target is in the front of our minds and it's getting closer.

"We're taking each game as it comes. Games are coming thick and fast and there are a lot of competitions we're still in."

Sergio Aguero scored his first Premier League goal since January 2020 as Manchester City cruised to a straightforward 3-0 win at Fulham and extended their lead at the top of the table.

Scott Parker's Cottagers had given their survival hopes a massive boost with a 1-0 win at Liverpool last weekend, but runaway leaders City brought them back down to Earth with a clinical second-half display.

Neither side looked particularly impressive in the first half, with City's few opportunities not giving Alphonse Areola a great deal to worry about.

But Pep Guardiola's men took their chances in the second period as Fulham gifted them a couple of goals, with John Stones, Gabriel Jesus and Aguero netting, the latter's penalty his first league strike since January 21 last year after being plagued by injuries.

Fulham were initially the brighter of the two teams as Ademola Lookman's pace and trickery caused issues, but he was guilty of overplaying early on and allowed Ruben Dias to block a shot.

Bernardo Silva and Aguero both drew routine saves from Areola at the other end, but the goalkeeper was helpless to keep City out at the start of the second half.

Just 76 seconds after the restart, Stones latched on to Joao Cancelo's free-kick delivery and guided the ball in from close range.

It was 3-0 by the hour mark – first, Jesus rounded Areola and smashed home after Joachim Andersen's clearance struck Ivan Cavaleiro and fell kindly for the Brazilian.

Then former City youngster Tosin Adarabioyo was tackled on the edge of his own area by Ferran Torres and he subsequently hauled the Spaniard down, with Aguero converting the penalty.

City comfortably saw the game out to extend their lead at the summit to 17 points, though second-placed Manchester United do have two games in hand.

What does it mean? City make Fulham pay for errors as hosts get a reality check

Having lost just one of their previous seven Premier League games, Fulham have hoisted themselves back to within touching distance of safety and have received a lot of praise for their performances.

But there were hints of them believing the hype as they played one pass too many in decisive areas, meaning City were able to keep them out at the back and punish those errors at the other end.

City were by no means excellent in the first half, with many of their regulars held back for the week ahead, yet you still got the impression they knew what they were doing.

Cancelo catches the eye

It was not a match full of standout individual performances, but Cancelo – as he often does – did make his mark.

The Portuguese full-back has developed into a key man for City and he was a joy to watch here, his forays forward adding an extra dimension to his team.

While he only played one key pass in open play, he also got the assist for Stones' opener with a gorgeous delivery and was solid defensively, making five tackles – tied with Rodri for the most by a City player.

Adarabioyo's day to forget

Playing against his former team, Adarabioyo will have been desperate to impress, and perhaps that was partly to blame for his decision-making in the lead-up to the City penalty.

His attempt to dribble past Torres was unnecessary and he conceded the foul. That aside it is difficult to say he impressed much defensively, failing to make any tackles or clearances.

What's next?

City now turn their attentions towards the Champions League as they face Borussia Monchengladbach in the second leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday. As for Fulham, they host Leeds United on Friday.

A second coming for Cristiano Ronaldo in the Spanish capital?

After a trophy-laden spell with Real Madrid, Ronaldo made the switch to Juventus.

But Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer is reportedly keen on a second stint at the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO EYEING MADRID REUNION

Cristiano Ronaldo wants to return to Real Madrid, according to the frontpage of Saturday's Diario AS.

Ronaldo's future with Juventus has been placed in doubt following the club's Champions League last-16 exit.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who left Madrid for Juve in 2018, has reportedly been in contact with Los Blancos for months.

 

ROUND-UP

- New Barcelona president Joan Laporta will offer superstar captain Lionel Messi a fresh contract in the coming weeks, reports Mundo Deportivo. The deal would include Messi – heavily tipped to join either Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City as a free agent at the end of the season – becoming a club ambassador after retirement. Laporta is also set to push ahead with moves for Bayern Munich's David Alaba, Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and City forward Sergio Aguero.

City lead the race to sign Haaland, according to the Daily Mail. Haaland is a player in demand, linked with Manchester United, Chelsea, LiverpoolJuve, PSG, Barca and Madrid.

Joao Felix is also an option at the Etihad Stadium. Cuatro claims the Atletico Madrid star is a target if Aguero leaves City.

- Le10Sport claims PSG remain in talks with Neymar over a four-year contract extension. A deal is believed to be some way off.

Harry Maguire wants United to sign an English-speaking defender, reports The Transfer Window Podcast. The Red Devils have been linked with Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and team-mate Raphael Varane, Sevilla's Jules Kounde, RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate and Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly. But Brighton and Hove Albion's Ben White has emerged as a target.

- TMW Radio says Atletico could be set to make a move for Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz. The Spain international has been previously linked with Barca and Madrid.

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