Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has no desire to join AC Milan or Real Madrid and remains keen on returning to boyhood club Independiente when his contract at the Etihad Stadium expires in 2019.
Recent reports have linked the Argentina international with moves to both the Italian and Spanish outfits. The Sun previously reported that the Rossoneri are preparing an £80m (€90.3m) move for Aguero in the upcoming January transfer window, while Le 10 Sport understands that Real believe they can tempt the 29-year-old to move to the Bernabeu.
Aguero, who broke Eric Brook's all-time City scoring record of 178 in the Champions League win at Napoli last week, has continually stated his desire to return to Independiente who he first joined in 1997 aged nine. And that ambition has not changed, despite speculation over his future.
"It came out that Milan and Real Madrid wanted me and – I don't know where I read it – but they said, 'They just spoiled Independiente's dream.' But the idea was always to go back to Independiente when my contract with City runs out in 2019," he said, according to Sky Sports.
"I have an option to extend one more year with City where it's the priority but it's always an option. The idea is to go back. Now, I'm doing very well and hopefully we can win the [title], but it's not easy."
Uncertainty regarding Aguero's future first surfaced upon the arrival of Gabriel Jesus, after the Brazil forward scored seven goals in 10 Premier League appearances having completed his move from Palmeiras last January.
The 20-year-old was then preferred to Aguero in a number of games during the back-end of the season, despite City chasing an all-important Champions League place.
Milan postponed making a formal bid in the summer as City struggled to complete a deal to acquire Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez; a move that eventually fell through on deadline day.
Real were also linked with a summer move after being quoted a world-record fee for the City record-breaker, though their attention turned to trying to bring in teenager Kylain Mbappe, who would eventually move to Paris Saint-Germain from Monaco.
Latest reports linking Real with Aguero do not suggest that president Florentino Perez sees the ex-Atletico Madrid hitman as a replacement for Karim Benzema, or any of his frontline – including Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.
City are likely to be calm over Aguero's intentions given that a move to Independiente, at the age of 31, would seemingly rule out a switch to a domestic or European rival.
And the club appear more intent on securing the future of Aguero's heir-apparent Jesus, who has picked up where he left off last season with nine goals already this term.
The Times understands City want to reward Jesus with a bumper new contract worth £100,000-a-week, with all parties hopeful of completing talks before the end of the year, in what would be the latest increase to their already bulging pay roll.
City reported a 23% increase in their wage bill, which stands at £243m, in their latest financial figures released this week. The figure remains below the Premier League's highest-paying club Manchester United, whose outlay is around £263m.