Guardiola wants Sterling to move on

Manchester City
England romped to a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Bulgaria in Sofia, with Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling both scoring twice.

Pep Guardiola will throw a protective arm around Raheem Sterling when he returns from international duty later on Tuesday.

Manchester City insiders claim the Catalan sent the winger a text last week following Sterling’s bust-up with England colleague Joe Gomez, which resulted in Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate excluding the winger from selection for the Euro 2020 qualifier 7-0 rout against Montenegro.

The pair had to be separated in the England canteen after the in-form Etihad star allegedly grabbed Liverpool defender Gomez by the neck just 24 hours after the pair had a confrontation during the Citizens’ 3-1 defeat at Anfield.

Sterling was quick to issue an apology and it is understood his employers at City have no plans to further discipline their man, but club insiders have stated Guardiola will make sure the player is okay and reminded of his responsibilities.

The 24-year-old came in from the cold on Sunday for England’s 4-0 win over Kosovo, providing the assists for Spurs striker Harry Kane and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford to get on the scoresheet.

Sterling has become a huge role model during the last 18 months – thanks to his star-studded displays for both club and country – in addition to calling out the continued stain of racism in football.

City will need the £50m forward focused and firing when they face Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal over the next month in the Premier League.

The reigning champions have slipped nine points behind Liverpool at the top of the table although Guardiola remains convinced his team can play themselves back into contention – just as they did last season when overhauling a ten-point gap to the Kopites.

Sterling has bagged 14 goals in 17 appearances for City this season and has become one of the first names on Guardiola’s teamsheet as a result.

It is understood the Spanish tactician wants to draw a line under recent events and will challenge Sterling to remind the public just why he is now considered one of the best players in the world.