Bernardo Silva, Clubs, English Premier League, Manchester City, Story

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MANCHESTER, England — Pep Guardiola has reiterated his defence of Bernardo Silva despite the Manchester City midfielder being found guilty of sending a racist tweet.

Silva will miss Chelsea’s visit to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday after being handed a one-match ban and a £50,000 fine following a social media post which referenced teammate Benjamin Mendy.

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Guardiola hinted that Silva had been an easy target for the Football Association and took the opportunity at his weekly news conference to insist the Portugal international is not a racist.

“The less important thing is that we are going to miss him — he’s been accused of something he’s not,” Guardiola said.

“If they want to pick up someone to show something it was the right person.

“He will be careful with social media but if this can help make a better society then Bernardo will accept it. But he’s not what he’s accused of.”

Guardiola has also had to deal with the fall-out from Raheem Sterling‘s difficult international break during which the winger was dropped by England manager Gareth Southgate following an altercation with Liverpool defender Joe Gomez.

“He’s good,” Guardiola said. “I spoke with him, he’s fine. He said Gomez is an excellent guy, they have a good relationship, it sometimes happens.”

The City manager has also seen his rivalry with Jose Mourinho restart after the Portuguese was named Tottenham’s new manager following the dismissal of Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday.

Mourinho has been out of work for nearly a year since his dismissal at Manchester United but is back in the Premier League with a third club.

“I think you [the media] know him better than me, many years here, welcome back, an incredible manager I’m pretty sure he’ll do a good job,” Guardiola said.

“A little surprised, he [Pochettino] has done incredible, all the managers are judged on titles but it’s not the truth, in the time he was there the club was better.

“When a manager leaves you want the club and team to be better than the moment you took over, that happened but the decisions are made and there’s nothing else to say.”

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