Things Fall Apart: Barça’s Sergio Agüero Ruled Out For Extended Period

BARCELONA - Barcelona striker Sergio Agüero has been ruled out of action for 10 weeks, the club said on Monday, deepening the Catalans' troubles ahead of the new season following Lionel Messi's shock departure.

Agüero, a close friend of Messi and his international teammate with Argentina, joined Barça as a free agent in June after 10 years with Manchester City.

Barça's statement said Agüero, 33, had injured a tendon in his right calf muscle and would be out for around 10 weeks, meaning he will not make his debut until Oct. 17 at the earliest, when they host Valencia in LaLiga. Agüero's problem comes after a final season with City blighted by injuries, limiting him to only seven Premier League starts.

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman is now short of striking options for his team's opening league game against Real Sociedad on Sunday, with Martin Braithwaite, Antoine Griezmann and Memphis Depay his only available forwards.

Messi is reportedly finalizing a move to Paris St Germain a day after his teary farewell from Barça, who could not afford to sign him to a new contract.

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)

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