Sergio Aguero wants to leave Atletico Madrid

Argentina striker Sergio Aguero wants to leave Atletico Madrid

amid reported interest from Europe’s top clubs.

Aguero said Monday on his official website that he wants to take

”a new step” in his career after five seasons in the Spanish

capital.

”I said some time ago that when I wanted to leave I would make

it known publicly. Now that moment has come,” Aguero wrote. ”It’s

difficult to leave Atletico … the reasons for doing so are

difficult to explain.”

Real Madrid and Chelsea have long been linked with a move for

the 23-year-old Aguero, with Atletico rejecting offers from both

clubs in January. Aguero made no mention of where he would like to

play next.

Aguero said he wanted to continue his development as a player

after helping Atletico to a seventh-place league finish this

season.

Atletico needs to play a qualifying round just to reach the

Europa League, so the prospect of playing Champions League football

may have pushed Aguero to seek an early exit from a contract that

still has three years to run.

”It’s not for economic reasons but strictly sporting ones. This

decision has been brewing for some time,” said Aguero, who added

that he signed a contract renewal so Atletico would not miss out on

a payout if he left.

The former Independiente striker, who joined Atletico in 2006

for ?22 million (then $28 million), scored 27 of his 101 goals this

season, including 20 in the league. He helped Atletico to Europa

League and European Supercup triumphs last season.

Alongside goalkeeper David De Gea, Aguero forms the young and

talented core of the club.