Sergio Aguero is growing disillusioned under Pep Guardiola, with his future at Manchester City now in the balance.
The 29-year-old is frustrated at a lack of confidence shown in him for big games — a worry he harboured last season.
Sportsmail can reveal City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak met Aguero in Los Angeles during their pre-season tour to address the striker’s concerns.
Al Mubarak is understood to have told City’s all-time leading goalscorer that the landscape with Guardiola would change this season.
Aguero believes that has not been the case, however, and while he is delighted at City’s form, he holds doubts over his own position amid a strained relationship with Guardiola.
He was an unused substitute for this month’s derby victory at Old Trafford and showed his annoyance when replaced against Spurs last weekend by throwing his gloves to the ground. Sources close to Guardiola maintain the manager has no issue with Aguero, that the Argentine is his son’s favourite player and that City have no plans to sell him.
The Catalan is thought to have privately held reservations about the player’s trip to Amsterdam in September during which he was involved in a car crash, breaking a rib.
Aguero feels Guardiola publicly put the topic of eventually leaving the Etihad Stadium squarely on him last season and countered that during a rare interview in February.
The emergence of Gabriel Jesus increased competition among the forwards last year, and City hope to signing Alexis Sanchez on a free transfer next summer.
Club bosses are unlikely to allow Aguero to leave for a Premier League rival.