Pep Guardiola has hinted next season could be his last at Manchester City after guiding the club to an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League title and sixth in the last seven years.

Here, the PA news agency analyses the City’s manager’s position.

What has Guardiola said?

Following Sunday’s title-clinching win over West Ham, the Spaniard admitted he was “closer to leaving than to staying”. This was cryptic and not putting any definite timescale on his departure but, with his contract due to expire next year, it has fuelled speculation about his future.

What is likely to happen next?

Pep Guardiola signs contract
Guardiola (centre) has only signed short contracts during his reign (PA Media)

It is unclear at this stage. Guardiola has said he will discuss the situation with the club over the summer and assess where he stands with the squad. Having won the treble last season and now four Premier Leagues in a row, he has admitted he does not know what his next source of motivation will be. Given he has already stayed at City longer than his previous clubs, that may worry fans but, on the other hand, this contract situation is not unfamiliar. Guardiola has only signed short deals throughout his reign and there has been speculation each time they have neared their conclusion, so staying longer is also a possibility.

Do City have a succession plan in mind?

Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola
Mikel Arteta (left) worked under Guardiola but left to take over at Arsenal (Barrington Coombs/PA)

The first-team set-up at City has been built around Guardiola. They were preparing for his arrival long before they actually appointed him, so losing him would undoubtedly be a shock to the system. That day has to come some time, though, and given the efficiency of almost every facet of the club, it is inconceivable to think plans have not been made, whether for sooner or later. There is no obvious successor at the moment, with the last person they appeared to be grooming for the role – Guardiola’s former assistant Mikel Arteta – now in the top job at Arsenal, but the club will privately have ideas.

Could Guardiola actually leave this year and what is the impact of the 115 charges hanging over the club?

Pep Guardiola
Guardiola has robustly defended City with regard to the Premier League’s financial charges (Mike Egerton/PA)

There is a theory that Guardiola could quit this summer to break clear before those Premier League charges over financial irregularities come to a head. He has given no clues to indicate that might be a possibility, however, and he has even said he will stand by the club as they fight those charges in the past. His contract expires in the summer of 2025, when City are due to participate in the revamped Club World Cup in the United States. After that might be as good a time as any to make the change, but only time will tell.