Mikel Arteta has ruled out making a move for departing Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero this summer.
Aguero, City’s all-time record goalscorer, has so far won four Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and five League Cups during his decade-long stay at the Etihad Stadium.
Arteta has looked to promote youth since his arrival as Arsenal manager, with current forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette among their most experienced players.
When asked whether the Gunners could make a move for Aguero,” Arteta replied: “No, no, no… we will see what happens with him in the future.”
Aguero is widely remembered for his injury-time goal in the final game of the 2011-12 season, his debut campaign, against QPR which secured City’s first Premier League title.
“Anybody that has been close to Sergio would say the same thing,” said Arteta, who served as assistant to Pep Guardiola at City from 2016-2019.
“He has probably been the main face or one of the three main faces that has lifted that project.
“You need some leadership, some quality, players to create moments to start to build a project like they did and Sergio is probably the biggest face on that project.
“It is not only the way in which he plays [but] his charisma, personality and the way he is. He is loved by everybody at the club.
“It is sad to see someone leaving like him but I think what he has done there he will be in the history.
Despite playing a limited role for City this season due to injury as Guardiola’s side target an unprecedented quadruple, Arteta is convinced the Argentinean will continue to have success at his next club.
“Sergio has a unique quality to see spaces where nobody else can see and score goals in a really easy way so that I am sure that he will find the right next project,” Arteta added.
‘We will address the situation in the summer’ – Arteta on Lacazette contract
Meanwhile, Arteta praised Lacazette, who will enter the final year of his Gunners contract this summer, for his performances in recent months.
“He has been in really good form for months now,” said Arteta of Lacazette. “I think he is sustaining that level. He is scoring goals, providing the team with something different as well.
“His work rate has been phenomenal, and it is what we want. We need those type of players hitting the best level if we want to have the chance to do that because of the season.
“We have been missing goals, that creativity in the final third and we need those players to step in and make a difference for the team.”
Sevilla and Roma have been linked with the 29-year-old France forward who joined from Lyon in 2017.
When pressed on whether Lacazette will remain at Arsenal beyond his current contract, Arteta added: “I am always happy when people talk about our players and speculate.
“That means that they are doing well and they are getting the attention from other clubs.
“This situation with Lacazette we will address in the summer, speak to him and propose the future that we want. Up to now I only want players focused on performances and getting the best out of the team.”
Arsenal host Liverpool on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, nine points off the Premier League’s top four, with the club set to face Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-finals during the next two weeks.