Sergio Aguero hopes Manchester City can avoid Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the Champions League – but is prepared to face the best.
City secured their place in the quarter-finals of Europe’s top club competition for the first time as they saw off Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday.
City will now await Friday’s draw for the last eight knowing they could face a daunting tie against champions Barca – assuming the Spaniards complete victory over Arsenal on Wednesday – or Bayern, the club currently managed by City’s next boss, Pep Guardiola.
Striker Aguero said: “You always want to go far, and to do that you have to face the best.
“Obviously Barca and Bayern are there, who are the two best by form and obviously if we can avoid them all the better.
“But at some point we will have to face them. It’s difficult but I’m happy. We are all here for this, to fight at the top and we are happy to get through.”
City were hardly tested by Kiev at the Etihad Stadium and a dull goalless draw was sufficient for them to progress courtesy of their 3-1 win in Ukraine last month.
Kiev’s approach was all the more surprising given that City suffered a nightmare start by losing both centre-backs, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi, to injury inside the opening 24 minutes.
Neither side showed much attacking inclination in the first half and City only came to life after the break as Yaya Toure tried to up the tempo. Toure went close himself and teed up chances for Aguero and Jesus Navas, who respectively shot across goal and hit a post.
Aguero said: “I think it was a little strange because we were waiting for Kiev to come out and play a little but we did not expect them to come out so relaxed. We did not have anything to lose.”
Being paired with Bayern would be intriguing given that Guardiola is to take over at City in the summer, but Aguero is unwilling to speak too much about his next manager.
He said: “I don’t know him. Let’s finish the season first in the best way possible.”
It was reported Aguero had recently contacted his Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi, the Barcelona star, to ask about former Nou Camp chief Guardiola but the striker says that is not the case.
“No, no,” he said. “We only chatted beforehand, before it was announced. Obviously for Leo he was a great coach, he won a lot of trophies and we hope he does well.”
Aguero, who is contracted at City until 2019, last week told an Argentinian radio station that he intends to return to boyhood club Independiente when his current deal ends.
The 27-year-old has not denied that but insists he is still fully focused on City.
Aguero, who has scored 128 goals for City since joining the club for £38million in 2011, said: “You are born in one club as a kid, and you always want to return to where you started. I have always said it, I will go back.
“But right now I am thinking about winning the Champions League with Manchester City. We will see what happens in the future.”
City expect influential captain Kompany to be out for at least a month with yet another calf injury, his fourth of the season, but a full assessment of his condition will be completed in due course.