Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has been given a one-match suspension as punishment for a racially insensitive tweet posted in September, the Football Association (FA) has confirmed.

The FA charged Silva at the start of October and the Portugal international has admitted a breach of the organisation's Rule E3.

Silva, 25, is set to miss City's home Premier League game against Chelsea after the international break, while he has also been fined £50,000 and must complete face-to-face education.

The former Monaco player tweeted – and subsequently deleted – a photo of team-mate Benjamin Mendy as a youngster and a dated image from Spanish confectionary brand Conguitos that has been criticised for its racist connotations.

A statement issued by the FA read: The Manchester City midfielder's social media activity on September 22, 2019 breached FA Rule E3(1), as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute, and constituted an "Aggravated Breach", which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin."

As part of Silva's submission to the FA following his charge, Mendy wrote a letter backing his close friend and insisting no offence had been taken.

Raheem Sterling also backed his team-mate publicly, although two lengthy and impassioned defences from manager Pep Guardiola in the aftermath appeared to inflame the matter.

In the Independent Regulatory Commission's written reasons provided to the FA, Silva's "exemplary previous good character" was acknowledged, along with an acceptance that "the player did not himself intend the post to be insulting or in any way racist", given he had "grown up in a country where both the brand and the character were familiar and considered inoffensive".

They added: "However, this was not a private jocular communication between two friends, The post was on a social media platform exposed to the 600,000 followers of a high-profile and well-respected professional footballer.

"It was quickly observed and reported upon by elements of the media. To his credit, the player removed the tweet from his account within a period of some 45 minutes or so."

Silva was voted City's player of the season in 2018-19 as they completed an unprecedented domestic treble, before starring in Portugal's triumph at the inaugural Nations League Finals.

He scored his fifth Premier League goal of the current campaign during last Sunday's 3-1 defeat to leaders Liverpool at Anfield.

Manuel Neuer would not be drawn on a potential reunion with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, saying only that "things are going very well" under Hansi Flick.

Bayern are without a permanent head coach following Niko Kovac's sacking, with former assistant Flick in caretaker charge for impressive wins over Olympiacos and Borussia Dortmund.

Manchester City manager Guardiola, Bayern coach from 2013 to 2016, could potentially make an incredible return, according to Sport Bild.

Thomas Tuchel, at Paris Saint-Germain, and Erik ten Hag, at Ajax, have each reiterated their commitment to their current clubs, while the report claims Guardiola "does not seem happy" at City, where he has won back-to-back Premier League titles.

The seemingly unlikely prospect of Guardiola linking up with Bayern again was put to goalkeeper Neuer while on international duty with Germany.

The Bayern stalwart preferred to focus on Flick's fine start, though, saying: "Of course, I can't comment on the rumours.

"We are now here with the national team, I hear [about Guardiola] for the first time. You will see what happens and how those responsible decide.

"At the moment, things are going very well. In the last six days, Hansi Flick has invested everything with his coaching team. We have been very successful twice.

"The people in charge will take a stand [by appointing Guardiola instead] if they want to."

Guardiola won the Bundesliga title in each of his three seasons with Bayern but, having twice triumphed in Europe at Barcelona, failed to deliver the Champions League.

Bayern had been European champions when he arrived in Munich in 2013, replacing Jupp Heynckes.

Neuer was speaking ahead of Germany's Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Belarus and Northern Ireland, where they will hope to secure their place in next year's finals.

Various scenarios could see Germany through after the first match but Neuer said: "Of course, we want to win the home games and get six points. That's our clear goal."

Danny Rose says any speculation surrounding his Tottenham future in January will come to nothing as he intends to run down his contract.

The 29-year-old has repeatedly been linked with a move away from Spurs after he publicly announced an intention to leave following an outstanding 2016-17 season.

Then linked with Manchester United, Rose has since struggled for form and fitness and was a reported target for Premier League strugglers Watford on the eve of the new season.

However, the England international claims there was never any possibility he would leave in the most recent transfer window.

He says Tottenham have informed him his contract, which expires in 2021, will not be renewed and the club want him to leave. But Rose is standing firm.

"It's pretty obvious what happened [before the season]," he told the Evening Standard. "People upstairs at Tottenham were trying to do what they were trying to do.

"I've said I've got 18 months left on my contract and I'm not going anywhere until my contract has finished.

"In January, you're probably going to hear something [about a move]. I'm telling you right now that I'm not going anywhere until my contract is finished.

"[Tottenham chairman] Daniel Levy told me in the summer there was no new contract for me at Tottenham, which is fine. I respect that. We move on.

"My contract is up in 18 months' time and I'll leave the football club then. People [in the media] can save their time trying to get stuff ready for January about me being sold.

"Because I can tell you now: it ain't happening. I know what people were trying to do in the summer. There were no bids - that was rubbish."

Rose has played nine times in the Premier League this season, with Spurs struggling, and twice in the Champions League.

The left-back said earlier this year he "can't wait" to retire due to racism in football, having been the victim of abuse on international duty with England.

Leroy Sane could once again become a target for Bayern Munich during the January transfer window.

Manchester City winger Sane was heavily linked with a move to the Bundesliga champions but damaged his anterior cruciate ligament during August's Community Shield encounter against Liverpool.

Sane underwent surgery and is targeting a return in the new year, when interest from Bayern could also re-emerge.

“There were discussions over Sane,” Bayern board member Edmund Stoiber told Sport Bild.

"The unfortunate injury and the surgery he required for it broke the deal up.

"We'll see how things develop. As chairman of the advisory board and a member of the supervisory board, I have great faith in the sporting leadership.

"If they propose a transfer of this magnitude, that is justified."

Sane joined City from Schalke in August 2016 for a fee in the region of £37million.

The 23-year-old has scored 25 goals and supplied 28 assists over the course of 89 Premier League appearances, winning back-to-back titles in the past two seasons.

His contract at the Etihad Stadium expires at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

"We want him to stay here because we [have been trying] to extend the contract for more than one year," City manager Pep Guardiola said in August when speculation over Bayern moving for Sane was at its height.

"We were quite close a month ago and now it's a little bit different but that’s the reality - I can’t say any more. That's where it is."

Jurgen Klopp feels last weekend's 3-1 win over Manchester City is only the start as Liverpool chase down a first league title in 30 years.

Goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane secured Klopp's Premier League leaders the victory against the reigning champions at Anfield, opening up an eight-point advantage at the summit.

Unbeaten Liverpool are also nine points better off than City, having won 11 of their 12 league outings so far in 2019-20.

Klopp believes such form is "pretty much impossible" and knows there is plenty of road to travel in a title race that my still include nearest challengers Leicester City and Chelsea.

"It's just the start, that's how it is, everybody knows that," he told Liverpool's official website.

"If you would have told me that you can have 34 points [at this stage of the season], wow! It's pretty much impossible but we did it.

"But now the boys go for the last international break of the year. They have to come back healthy. You saw it how intense it was [against City].

"Hopefully they all come back healthy and then we go to Crystal Palace. I think the last games are somewhere on the planet on Tuesday in the week that we play on Saturday against Crystal Palace.

"So they will fly back on the Wednesday, Thursday have a recovery session and Friday, Saturday, 'Hello, Crystal Palace!'.

"That's the situation so nothing happens so far but it's still the best situation we could have asked for so let's hope we can carry on."

Bernardo Silva pulled a goal back at the weekend for City, who missed several chances as they applied pressure throughout the contest.

However, Klopp felt this was to be expected and remains delighted with the clinical nature of Liverpool's display that was not derailed by influential pair Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson feeling under the weather.

"You saw in the last 15 minutes when City gets control of the game then it's like it is," he said.

"Difficult but okay, we were obviously tired then and a couple of players felt a little bit of a cold. Hendo, Bobby at half-time, it was really difficult. It was clear at one point we had to make changes there then it’s difficult to adapt.

"Then they get the momentum in the situation when we want to change, scored the goal and had a few more moments.

"But come on, you cannot win against City with no dangerous moments or whatever. Their quality is too high, it's too big, so I'm completely fine with what we did because we did it our way and I liked that a lot."

Manchester United have an option to bring Memphis Depay back to Old Trafford, according to Lyon sporting director Juninho.

Netherlands international Depay joined United from PSV in 2015 but could only manage seven goals in 53 appearances across all competitions.

An unhappy 18 months concluded when he joined Lyon for a fee in the region of £16million in January 2017 - and the 25-year-old has been revitalised in Ligue 1.

Depay has scored seven times in 10 top-flight appearances this season despite his club's troubled start to the campaign, along with four in as many Champions League outings.

Speaking on Tuesday, Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman told reporters it would be better for his country if Depay was playing for a bigger club.

In the event of his performances drawing offers from some of Europe's big hitters, Juninho told his club's official website that United retain first refusal under the terms of Depay's move to France.

"Manchester has a priority if several clubs line up to buy him," he said.

"But we have not received any offers so far. He is really happy right now in Lyon.

"We will discuss a contract extension by the end of the year."

Depay's current deal runs until the end of next season.

Lyon lie 14th in Ligue 1 after a 2-1 defeat to rivals Marseille last Sunday, although recently installed head coach Rudi Garcia had overseen three consecutive wins before that setback.

AC Milan are desperate to add some firepower, but the Serie A side may not be opting for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic, 38, has been linked with a return to San Siro as the superstar prepares to leave LA Galaxy at the end of his contract.

However, Milan are considering their options.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN LOOK ELSEWHERE AMID IBRAHIMOVIC LINKS

AC Milan are eyeing Napoli star Dries Mertens and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, according to Tuttosport.

Stefano Pioli's men are struggling in 14th in Serie A, having scored just 11 goals in 12 league games.

Krzysztof Piatek is Milan's leading goalscorer in the league, but he has managed just three in 12.

The report says Ibrahimovic remains an option in the background.

ROUND-UP

- Juventus stars are expecting an apology from Cristiano Ronaldo after his outburst on Sunday, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Ronaldo reportedly left the stadium after being substituted in the second half of Juve's 1-0 win over Milan.

- Expect movement at Barcelona in January. Sport reports the LaLiga champions could sell Ivan Rakitic, Carles Alena and Moussa Wague without making any additions. Meanwhile, ESPN FC says Barcelona consider €100million too high a price to pay for Salzburg star Erling Haaland.

- Dani Olmo is still attracting interest from Europe's biggest clubs. CalcioMercato reports the Spanish attacker is ready to leave Dinamo Zagreb, who want €40m amid interest from Manchester City, AC Milan and Roma.

- Amid a lack of playing time at Real Madrid, Brahim Diaz and Mariano have been offered to Espanyol, according to Sport. Brahim has played just 18 LaLiga minutes this season, while Mariano is yet to feature in 2019-20.

- Andrea Belotti is set to re-sign with Torino. The striker – who has scored seven goals in 12 Serie A games this season – will get higher wages and a release clause of €100m, which will apply only for foreign clubs, according to CalcioMercato.

- Inter want to make as many as three signings in January, according to Tuttosport. Second in the Serie A table, one of those additions is set to depend on how much Inter bring in from the sale of Gabriel Barbosa – the forward is on loan at Flamengo.

Callum Hudson-Odoi described Raheem Sterling as his "idol" and insisted the forward remains a big leader in the England dressing room, despite his altercation with fellow team-mate Joe Gomez.

Manchester City star Sterling has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after a reported coming together with Liverpool defender Gomez at England's St George's Park training base on Monday.

The pair clashed on the field during Liverpool's 3-1 win over City at Anfield on Sunday and Sterling conceded his emotions "got the better" of him as he explained the incident that took place the following day.

England boss Gareth Southgate was keen to defuse the situation when he faced the media on Tuesday and Hudson-Odoi has also leapt to the defence of Sterling, who has earned praise in the past for his stance on wider issues such as racism.

"Raheem's a very nice guy, very encouraging, very positive about everything he does," Chelsea teenager Hudson-Odoi said, according to several British newspapers.

"When I first came in, I didn't expect him to be so nice. Of course he is a nice person but when you see somebody always welcoming you, just talking to you, giving you advice on how he plays and just being around you a lot it makes you feel so welcome in the team.

"Someone like Raheem is like an idol to me. The position he plays, and what he's doing for club and country, is an amazing thing, which I will try to replicate myself. It is an amazing feeling to have someone like him doing what he's doing and being around you every time. I want to keep learning off what he does.

"He's a big leader in the team because he's a very top player, he's in club and country playing every game, working really hard, scoring a lot of goals, so someone like that to have a say on racism it is a big feeling for all of us. He is sticking up for everyone who is involved in the game. It is a great feeling to know he's going to do that."

Sterling will play no part against Montenegro at Wembley but is in Southgate's plans for the trip to Kosovo three days later.

He took part in training alongside Gomez on Tuesday and Hudson-Odoi is confident the matter has been dealt with.

"What's happened, happened," he said. "It is a situation where we have dealt with it as a team. 

"We have moved on it. We have had a little talk with each other, and made sure everything is OK. We just want to move on as a team and focus on the game on Thursday."

England require a point from their games with Montenegro and Kosovo to secure a place at Euro 2020.

Everton midfielder Fabian Delph has withdrawn from England's squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Montenegro and Kosovo after failing to recover from a hamstring injury.

Delph sustained the injury during the 1-1 draw with Tottenham on November 3 and sat out Everton's 2-1 win at Southampton on Saturday.

The 29-year-old still joined up with England on Monday, but after being assessed by the medical team it has been decided he will continue his rehabilitation at Everton.

England boss Gareth Southgate has opted against calling up a replacement ahead of Thursday's home meeting with Montenegro and the trip to Kosovo three days later.

Delph has been capped 20 times by England since making his debut in 2014, though he has yet to feature in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has been ruled out of Egypt's Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Kenya and Comoros due to a persistent ankle injury.

Salah has been managing an issue since hobbling out of Liverpool's win over Leicester City last month, having been on the end of a rugged late challenge from Hamza Choudhury.

The 27-year-old looked to be in pain again in Sunday's mammoth clash with Manchester City.

He was caught by Fernandinho during Liverpool's 3-1 victory, initially staying down before playing on until the 87th minute, and was seen with his foot strapped up at full-time.

Salah joined up with his international team-mates on Monday, but the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has announced Salah will play no part against Kenya or Comoros.

"Medical tests have confirmed Salah is not ready for Kenya and Comoros," a statement on the EFA's official Twitter page read.

Salah has nine goals in all competitions for Liverpool this season, including five in his past seven outings.

Egypt face Kenya in Alexandria in their first qualifier of the group stage on Thursday before travelling to Moroni four days later.

Jamie Vardy has not discussed with his Leicester City team-mates the possibility of representing England again, team-mate Ben Chilwell has said.

The 32-year-old effectively retired from international duty in August 2018 to focus solely on club football with Leicester.

He leads the Premier League scoring charts with 11 goals this season and England boss Gareth Southgate has left the door open for a return to the international scene.

However, Chilwell, who is part of the Three Lions' squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers with Montenegro and Kosovo, is unsure if Vardy is interested in a recall.

"Vardy is his own person, as everyone knows," he said at Tuesday's news conference. 

"Obviously we have a laugh and joke with him, we say 'you are doing really well, what are your thoughts?'

"He doesn't really go into it with us. Him and Gareth have obviously spoken and come to the decision they have at the moment. 

"That's between them and for us to get involved would be silly."

Fellow Leicester player James Maddison has featured in three of Southgate's squads but has yet to make his senior international debut.

Maddison was pictured visiting a casino the day after withdrawing from England's last squad through illness, but Chilwell feels the midfielder is ready for his first cap.

"You look at his club form, Madders is playing very well - he's got a good thing going on with Vardy at the top of the pitch," he said.

"He's very focused now. He's coming away again with England and is very happy to be here and looking forward to hopefully getting an opportunity to play for England."

Raheem Sterling will continue to be an influential figure for England despite the fallout from his spat with international team-mate Joe Gomez, says Three Lions left-back Ben Chilwell.

Sterling has been dropped for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after an altercation with Gomez at England's St George's Park training base on Monday.

Manchester City forward Sterling and Liverpool defender Gomez clashed on the field during the Reds' 3-1 win over the reigning Premier League champions at Anfield on Sunday and the 24-year-old conceded his "emotions got the better of me" in a social media post relating to the incident.

Gomez and Sterling both trained with England on Tuesday, the latter remaining with Southgate's squad for Sunday's trip to Kosovo.

Leicester defender Chilwell spoke at a news conference after the session and alluded to Sterling's growing stature as an influential figure on and off the field for club and country of late.

"It's very easy to forget how much Raheem's done positively for English football over the past year or two," he said.

"Yeah, he's made a mistake but he's still a very big character in the dressing room and a very important character for us in the dressing room."

Chilwell revealed Sterling and Gomez both spoke at a team meeting on Monday and insisted the squad were behind Southgate's decision.

"Gareth obviously spoke about the situation and spoke about what he thought. He also wanted to know what we thought of it as well," he said.

"Joe and Raheem got the chance to talk as well, which they both wanted to do.

"Raheem was apologetic. He said it's not in his nature - which it's not - but we all know as football players that emotions can run high.

"There's no one trying to make excuses for him, including himself, but two days ago was a very emotional game. Two great sides battling it out. Things are going to get heated. They've both moved on and both squashed it.

"Gareth didn't want to make the decision himself. He wanted to come to the right decision with the leadership group.

"Obviously it got spoken about between the leadership group and Gareth, and the decision has been made and we're all very on board with that."

This flashpoint comes on the back of the far more serious matter of England players, including Sterling, being subjected to racist abuse during last month's 6-0 win in Bulgaria.

Chilwell believes Southgate's squad will be able to draw strength from such moments of adversity.

"I think it does help us a lot," he added. It's very easy to look at it in a negative light - with the Bulgaria game and what's gone on over the last few days.

"But with how close we are as a squad, I think it's very easy to spin it into a positive.

"It's going to make us stronger hopefully going into [Euro 2020] if we can win these next few games."

Gareth Southgate is concerned by the information being leaked to the media from the England camp in the wake of the incident involving Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez.

Manager Southgate dropped Sterling from the squad for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying match with Montenegro after a bust-up between the Manchester City star and Liverpool defender Gomez.

Sterling insisted afterwards that the confrontation, which took place in a private team area of St George's Park, was quickly forgotten about and both players were seen training on Tuesday.

Details of the clash initially appeared in the media shortly before England released an official statement, while specifics about the nature of the confrontation have since continued to emerge.

Southgate suggested he would prefer such information did not find its way out of closed camps and into the public.

"There seems to be all sort of information being passed from so many different areas," he told reporters.

"This is a consequence of the England football team at the moment. That is a very difficult situation and something we have to think about getting forward.

"The team getting out, information getting out – there seems to be so many voices in the background. That's something I have to accept and deal with. Every player has had an opportunity to speak to me if they want to and my view was the group is ready to move forward."

During the World Cup, an apparent England team sheet was leaked ahead of the group game against Panama, after assistant coach Steve Holland was photographed during an open training session with notes referring to a possible line-up.

At the time, Southgate was not hugely concerned by the information on the notes, although he did suggest the decision to publish the photograph was potentially to his team's detriment.

"It doesn't bother me in the slightest," he said in Nizhny Novgorod. "There's a squad of 23 names on the sheet, the next sheet has different players in different positions because we swap people in and swap people out.

"For me, no drama but obviously any time if we were to give the opposition the opportunity of having our team is a disadvantage to us. So, of course, our media has to decide whether they want to help the team or not. But, given that was just a squad list, it doesn't make any difference really."

Defender Ben Chilwell, meanwhile, suggested such leaks are to be expected in modern football – although he admits it is key to have the "full trust" of all players and staff.

"We're a very tight squad but it's not just the team in there," he said on Tuesday. "There's a lot of people who work at the [St George's Park Hilton] hotel involved as well.

"It's not just an England team thing, it happens in club football as well. Stuff does always seem to come out.

"As long as we have full trust that the stuff that needs to stay confidential between the team does then we're happy."

Gareth Southgate presented a united front within his England camp – declaring "I love all of my players" – after his dramatic decision to drop Raheem Sterling over a bust-up with Joe Gomez.

Late on Monday, Southgate confirmed the decision to omit Manchester City forward Sterling from this week's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after the altercation at England's St George's Park training base.

Sterling and Liverpool centre-back Gomez clashed on the field during City's 3-1 defeat at Anfield in a highly charged Premier League encounter on Sunday, and the 24-year-old conceded "emotions got the better of me" in a social media post regarding the confrontation the following day.

Southgate credited his senior players for their influence in a resolution that saw Sterling remain with the England squad for training on Tuesday, and he was keen to defuse the situation when he faced a media conference afterwards.

"I think I'm dealing with a very young squad and we're in a sport where emotions often run high," Southgate said.

"I think Raheem in his post last night explained that, for a very brief moment, his emotions ran over.

"It would be correct to say that's not the same for Joe. These things happen in football. Then you have to find a way for the group to move forward.

"That needed some time, it needed time for emotions to calm down across the board. We have some excellent senior players who played a part in bringing everyone together. You need, as a manager, to see that everyone is ready to work together moving forward.

"My priority is always the care and wellbeing of all of my players – all of my players."

When asked whether he was disappointed by Sterling's actions, Southgate added: "I love all of my players. We're like a family and all families have disagreements.

"The most important thing for any family is that you communicate through those disagreements and you work through them."

Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez trained with England on Tuesday after their altercation rocked the build-up to Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

Sterling will not be considered for selection when England play their 1,000th international at Wembley this week after an incident in a private team area at St George's Park.

Manchester City forward Sterling clashed with Liverpool defender Gomez during the closing stages of his club's 3-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday and, in an Instagram post, he conceded he let his emotions get the better of him when the pair were reunited on international duty.

Despite saying he and Gomez had since put the flashpoint behind them, England manager Gareth Southgate decided to take action.

Nevertheless, Sterling is still with the England squad and will be expected to return to the fray for the subsequent trip to Kosovo.

It meant he was in attendance to train at St George's Park alongside Gomez, wrapped up in a snood and woolly hat to guard against the elements.

Gary Neville has backed Southgate's decision to remove Sterling from England's next game, but Rio Ferdinand, the ex-Manchester United defender's team-mate for club and country, accused the Three Lions boss of hanging the 24-year-old "out to dry".

Sterling has scored 18 goals in 21 appearances for City and England in 2019-20.

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