Cape Town - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has reportedly told the powers that be he is willing to extend his current contract beyond 2021.
The Manchester City manager has made it clear in public that he intends to see out his present deal, which runs out at the end of next season.
However, following the weekend 2-1 derby loss to rivals Manchester United, which effectively ended the Citizens' hopes of winning the Premier League trophy for a third season in succession, speculation is mounting the Catalan could end his tenure early at the end of the present campaign.
And that could yet be the case, certainly if Guardiola were to deliver the Champions League next May - a trophy the club's owners crave after landing four Premier League titles since 2012.
City have already qualified for the knockout rounds after topping Group C, but travel to face Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday, with the Croatian outfit still in with a shout themselves of making the last 16.
City insiders state Guardiola recently met with his employers and told them he remains fully committed to the Manchester giants, despite recent stories that his former club Bayern Munich want to bring him back to the Allianz Arena.
And such is his close relationship to City's influential chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, there is plenty of trust on both sides that Guardiola is being genuine when hinting he is ready to stay beyond 2021.
The former Barcelona supremo has certainly been irked by some of the refereeing decisions this term, with the current champions already a massive 14 points behind leaders Liverpool.
City are losing veteran midfielder David Silva at the end of the season and record club goalscorer Sergio Aguero will follow him out the door a year later.
Influential veteran skipper Vincent Kompany left at the end of last season, with a feeling inside the club that they will require a squad rebuild to replace some of their aged stars.
Guardiola is the highest-paid manager in England on Pound 18million per year, and with an ability to write his own cheque, wherever he chooses to manage.
But there is now a real possibility he could stay at City beyond the scheduled five years, excited by the challenge of shaping a new, younger squad, coupled with unrivalled spending power, despite already lavishing Pound 500million during his time at the Etihad.