COMMENT: Pep Guardiola. Can he bend? Can he adapt? Because on the face of it. As the summer market looms. It appears he's learned absolutely nowt from his first season in England.
It's Joe Hart all over again. Sergio Aguero will be on his way. At 28. At the peak of his powers. Manchester City are going to put up for sale one of world's great strikers. Why? So to make room for a lad of 20. With barely a month of Premier League football under his belt.
Gabriel Jesus is top drawer. No doubt. This column tipped him to shake up not just City, but the Premier League, in the coming years. But not as City's outright striker - and certainly not at the expense of El Kun.
And this is where the doubts about Guardiola return. Please, let us know below, has there ever been a successful team in England playing without a recognised striker? Because that's the road Pep is going down. It's as clear as day. He of the ten midfielders. The strikerless system. The Barcelona of Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas. But this isn't Spain. And City have no Messi. Yet, Pep is going down that same road.
He did it with Hart. A physical, vocal, world class goalkeeper. Streetwise to the demands of English football. Yet, shunted out the backdoor for Claudio Bravo. A keeper with no physical presence. Who struggles with English. But he can pass a ball - apparently... It has been an absolute disaster. And if not for the continued support Pep enjoys from the local media, a complete humiliation.
Now, with Aguero, he's going to do it again. This column tipped City would struggle with Bravo between posts after his winning debut at Old Trafford. And we'll say it again: if Gabriel is the player to lead City's attack next season, they won't get close to winning the title. It just won't work in England. For his diminutive stature, Kun still offers City a bit of power upfront. He can work with his back to goal. He can handle a kicking. Gabriel's physique is still a couple of years away from being capable of handling the same. And his game is all about running at defenders, not shielding the ball from them. Diego Costa. Harry Kane. Last season, Jamie Vardy. Gabriel has absolutely nothing in common with these three strikers who have led the line for the three most successful teams in England over the past year. But Pep knows best...
It broke Sunday morning that Jose Mourinho fancies keeping Aguero in the Northwest. If City are prepared to do business, Manchester United will slap down £55 million so Aguero doesn't have to relocate his family from Cheshire.
And for all the angst it would bring, the opportunity to stay where he is would suit Aguero. He loves his life in England, particularly in Manchester. He can get chatty with reporters when away with Argentina's squad. But you never hear him talking down the freedom and lifestyle he enjoys in the Northwest. Not even the weather is criticised. Contrast that to Diego Costa. Even teammate Bravo. And it's clear he's not messing anyone around when he says City will, he "hopes", be his last club in Europe.
But now the career plan has changed. Indeed, it's in shreds.
"I just want to play and give my all until the end of the season," Aguero pointedly said last week. He knows the writing's on the wall. He's seen how Hart was treated. Let's get to the end of the season and see where we stand.
The move to United is no floater. Several sources carried it on Sunday morning. And it should be emphasised that it's coming from United's end. Mourinho, without making contact directly, wants to know if such a deal is feasible. Would City be willing consider? Could they handle the backlash? And what of the player...?
And that's the big question in all this: As not only are we talking about a City legend moving to United. We're also considering a Liverpool mad City legend moving to United.
In his book, 'Born to Rise', the Argie even offered tactical and team selection advice to Liverpool:
"If I was Liverpool, I'd go four at the back, two central midfielders and two pushing on out wide, with Steven Gerrard just behind Djibril Cisse or Fernando Morientes. I'd always score six or seven with that team."
Again, like with United, a move to Liverpool would suit the Aguero family. But unlike Mourinho's lot, there'd be no backlash from City fans. And, as it stands today, he'd be joining a Champions League club.
For Liverpool, Aguero would be a transformative signing. One to make a difference. A decisive difference. And potentially at City's expense.
But, Pep knows best...