​Pep Guardiola is free to leave Manchester City in the summer thanks to a release clause in his contract, despite the Spaniard's current deal running until 2021 after signing an extension last year.

Currently embarking on the worst league start in his managerial career, question marks have been raised around Guardiola's future after the Cityzens slipped 14 points adrift of Liverpool at the Premier League summit.

Having already lost four league matches this term, suggestions arose that the 48-year-old's time at ​City could be drawing to a close. This coming despite leading the club to consecutive ​Premier League titles with an astounding 198-point haul in the last two campaigns.

It has now been revealed by the ​Mail that if Guardiola, or the club, feel this is his last season at the Etihad Stadium then he is free to leave upon the completion of the 2019/20 season.

Nevertheless, there is 'confidence' in the City camp that the tactician will honour his contract and remain in the dugout for the current and following campaigns, in what would be his longest single reign in charge of a club.

Just last month the former ​Barcelona chief claimed he was open to extending his stay in the north west beyond his current terms, saying: "I’m open [to it], yes. It is not about what the club wants or not. 


"For me, I want to see my players and the reaction of my players and everything. It is not as simple as I want to extend. I want to see the club, I want to see the players, I want to see how we are still working together."

That said, the club are putting contingency plans in place should a different outcome occur. The Mail's report adds that City bosses are keen admirers of Mauricio Pochettino, who is still yet to commit to a new club after being dismissed by Tottenham.

That said, ​various reports suggest that the Argentine still has his heart set on taking up the Manchester United job, a position he missed out on when Jose Mourinho was relieved of his duties at Old Trafford.

City’s footballing decisions are led by chief executive Ferran Soriano and football director Txiki Begiristain, who despite the club's league struggles, don't see their fellow Spaniard bidding farewell to City just yet. 

With relative ease the Cityzens reached the ​Champions League knockout stages, a competition that both Guardiola and the club still have every chance of securing - with their season far from over with three titles still very much in their sights.