Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is as dangerous in the penalty box as Barcelona trio Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, according to Pep Guardiola. The Argentine scored a brace during City's one-sided win against West Brom at the weekend – and Guardiola thinks Aguero compares favourably with any player in the world.

The Spaniard omitted Aguero from his team for City's recent Champions League tie against Barcelona at the Nou Camp, prompting speculation that the striker would leave the Etihad Stadium. But Guardiola has revealed he is desperate to retain the Premier League-winning star and has even likened his finishing to that of Messi, Suarez and Neymar - who are widely known as MSN in Spain.

"In the box he is at that level," Guardiola said after City's win at The Hawthorns, according to ESPN. "He is one the nicest players I ever trained in my career. It is a pleasure for me to work with nice people and Sergio is one of the best ones by far, but to convince him he has to believe how good he is and how we need him.

"I am talking about he has to feel how important he is for us. When he is happy of course all the team is happy."

Despite dropping Aguero for the Barcelona clash, Guardiola admitted the striker is central to his plans with City. The managed said it would be "impossible" to achieve his ambitions at the club without the Argentine.

"We need him. Without him we cannot achieve our target, it is impossible," the ex-Barcelona manager shared. "Sergio is a special player. We have to convince him how special a player he is for us. We need him a lot. When he's in that behaviour and has that hunger in that moment, Sergio is decisive. He's a big part of the history of this club and we want to help him to become a bigger part of this fantastic club."