Reigning Spanish champions Real Madrid have stepped up their pursuits of Manchester City’s £45 million-rated Sergio Aguero, and will offer the Premier League champions one of either Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema in a part-exchange deal, according to the Daily Star.

City are reportedly facing a losing battle in keeping hold of their star striker in the face of strong interest from the Spanish giants, while the player is thought to be “disillusioned” with life in Manchester following the break-up of his marriage.

Barcelona are also reportedly interested in the Argentinian’s services, which has alerted Real to step up their pursuits.

They will now offer City one of either Gonzalo Higuain or Karim Benzema as a sweetener as part of any such deal for Aguero, who missed out on a move to the Spanish side prior to joining City in a £38 million deal due to former club Atletico Madrid’s reluctance to sell to their derby rivals.

But club president Florentino Perez knows he could lose Cristiano Ronaldo this summer and is determined to secure a “marquee signing” to help him get re-elected next year.

Perez is also reportedly trying to sign Gareth Bale from Spurs, and has assumed total control of all the club’s transfer negotiations.

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This article was first posted on March 26, 2013