Guardiola denies having a clause in his contract to leave City early

Reports suggested an option existed in Catalan’s contract to depart at end of season

Manchester City’s Catalan manager Pep Guardiola has won the last two Premier League titles in impressive fashion. Photograph: PA

Manchester City’s Catalan manager Pep Guardiola has won the last two Premier League titles in impressive fashion. Photograph: PA

 

Pep Guardiola has denied he has a break clause in his contract at Manchester City.

The City manager’s future continues to be the subject of speculation and the latest claims have suggested the Spaniard has a potential way out at the end of this season, should he want to leave.

But Guardiola has repeatedly stated his intention to fulfil his contract, which expires in 2021, and has even suggested could stay beyond that.

Asked if the break clause exists, Guardiola said at a press conference on Friday: “No, it is not true. I spoke about that a few weeks ago, about my intentions with the club.”

Guardiola has won two Premier League titles since taking over at City in the summer of 2016.

Speculation over his future is fuelled by this season’s form and an examination of his past managerial postings.

Champions City have fallen 14 points behind leaders Liverpool in his fourth season at the club. The 48-year-old left Barcelona after four years in charge to take a year off and then left Bayern Munich after three seasons.

Speaking last month, Guardiola said: “I want to stay, I don’t have any reasons to move.

“I am incredibly satisfied to work with this club, with these players, and if the people think I am going to resign for these results and being nine points behind, the people do not know me.

“I like to have this challenge, I love to be in this position. If the club wants (me) next season I want to be here 100 per cent.

“I want to live in this city because I know lovely people here and I want to work and live with them and I want to be here.”

The latest reports came on the day Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp extended his contract at Anfield until 2024.

Guardiola said: “Congratulations to him and Liverpool for extending for five more years here in England. He deserves it.”

It has also emerged that the City squad did not attend the club’s staff Christmas party in Manchester city centre on Thursday evening. This came after a recent revelation that Guardiola was unhappy with the conduct of some players following last year’s event.

Coming the day after a Champions League game in Zagreb and with a trip to Arsenal on Sunday, a decision was taken not to attend this time.

Guardiola said: “We played Wednesday and we got late back to Manchester, and for regeneration people were tired. We have a game in two or three days. Myself and the players preferred to be at home with the families.”

City will hope to get back to winning ways in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium after last week’s damaging derby loss to Manchester United.

Sergio Aguero and John Stones are again sidelined and David Silva is also doubtful after a blow to the leg against United last week.

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