Sergio Aguero is set to announce his retirement on Wednesday less than six months after joining Barcelona, reports Guillem Balague.
The 33-year-old has struggled with injuries and health problems since moving to Spain, making only five appearances for the Catalan side.
While Aguero’s time at Barcelona has not gone to plan, there can be no doubting his status as one of the foremost strikers of the 21st Century.
After starting out with Independiente in Argentina, he moved to Atletico Madrid, winning the Europa League in 2010 and scoring 101 goals in 234 appearances.
That record attracted the interest of an upwardly mobile Manchester City, who paid a reported £38m to bring him to Etihad Stadium. He would go on to become a club and Premier League legend during a 10-year spell in England.
Aguero left City in the summer having broken their all-time scoring record, with 260 goals in 390 games, including 16 hat-tricks.
He is the highest-scoring overseas player in Premier League history with 184 goals, nine more than France and Arsenal great Thierry Henry.
Only Alan Shearer (260), Wayne Rooney (208) and Andrew Cole (187) have scored more in the competition.
But no-one has a better minutes-per-goal record than Aguero in the Premier League. He averaged a goal every 107.9 minutes. Of players who have scored more than 15 goals, Henry is next on the list with one every 121.8 minutes.
The Argentine is also responsible for arguably the Premier League’s most iconic moment, scoring with virtually the last kick of the 2011-12 season to seal a victory over Queens Park Rangers that earned Manchester City a first top-flight title since 1968 and denied fierce rivals Manchester United by virtue of goal difference.
He would go on to win five Premier League titles, one FA Cup and six League Cups during his time in England.
A sad end with Barcelona
Aguero’s great friendship with compatriot Lionel Messi meant a move to Barcelona was an attractive one after it became clear he would be allowed to leave Manchester City.
He had won over City boss Pep Guardiola, who initially had concerns about the striker’s ability to fit into his style of play, but injuries limited Aguero’s playing time during his final season at Etihad Stadium.
But the switch to Barcelona went badly from the start. The club’s financial problems meant there were problems registering their new signings, including Aguero.
And those same issues led to the departure of Messi to Paris St-Germain.
When Aguero was eventually registered, he suffered a calf injury that kept him out until October.
He scored a 90th-minute consolation in his only El Clasico appearance against Real Madrid, on 24 October, and three days later made his first start for the club.
But his withdrawal against Alaves on 30 October was followed by a “cardiac exam” and Aguero said on social media he would follow doctors’ advice in making a decision about his playing future.
He said he would take 90 days to assess his progress, with reports suggesting he had been diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia – an irregular heartbeat.
But his decision, to be announced this week, has come sooner than expected.
His final contribution for Argentina came at the summer’s Copa America, a substitute appearance in the quarter-final victory over Ecuador as La Albiceleste went on to win the trophy for the first time in 28 years.