By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Sergio Aguero came close to joining Liverpool when Rafael Benitez was the manager, the Spaniard has revealed.

The prolific Manchester City striker was offered to the Merseysiders in 2006 before he joined Atletico Madrid for £18million at the age of 18.

Aguero has subsequently established himself as one of the world’s outstanding strikers and written himself into City folklore with his goalscoring achievements at Etihad Stadium since his switch from Atletico Madrid in 2011, scoring 133 goals in 202 matches for the club.

Benitez has been aware of what the Argentina striker can do for more than a decade since he was a teenager at Independiente.

“I was Liverpool manager,” Benitez said on Monday, as quoted by the Mail. “They offered him to us as a young player for big, big money. He signed for Atletico Madrid.

“He was a player that we knew. We were following him. We knew he was a very good player. I also have a good relationship with Sergio.”

Aguero’s hat-trick against Chelsea on Saturday took him to 99 goals in the Premier League, and the Manchester City star can reach his century by scoring at St James’ Park on Tuesday as Newcastle aim to keep their hopes of top flight safety alive.

The 27-year-old’s five-star show at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the season condemned Newcastle to a 6-1 defeat, and keeping him quiet will be crucial if Benitez’s side are to maintain their fight against relegation following Saturday’s win over Swansea.

Aguero is on 21 league goals for the season, three behind Harry Kane and one off Jamie Vardy, in his attempt to win the Golden Boot for the second year in a row.

City have a Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid next week to take into account and Benitez is banking on that being a distraction for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

“Hopefully he can score a lot of goals in the Champions League but not against us,” Benitez added, as quoted in the Mail. “To stop him it’s not just about one player, you have to work as a team.”

In other Liverpool news, Jamie Redknapp has urged his former club to tie key 26-year-old to a new contract.