Pep Guardiola, who is poised to take over from Manuel Pellegrini as Manchester City manager in the summer, will take charge at the Etihad Stadium even if the Sky Blues fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The deal for the 45-year-old to take charge in June was announced in February, but the Citizens have since faded away in the Premier League title race and are fighting to retain their place in the top four after a derby defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

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As a result, rumours began to circulate that the Bayern Munich boss had the option to cancel the deal if City did not qualify for Europe’s elite competition. However, BBC Sport understands that there is no such clause in his contract.

This means that, no matter where Pellegrini’s side finish in the league this season, Guardiola will take charge in the summer as planned.

Injuries to integral first-team players such as skipper Vincent Kompany and number one goalkeeper Joe Hart has left City’s top four hopes hanging in the balance.

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Despite not winning back-to-back league games since October, City still lead West Ham and Manchester United by one point in the race for fourth, with eight games remaining.

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