Man City manager Pep Guardiola has been asked to explain his version of events to the Football Association (FA) with regards to the post-match incident involving him and Southampton winger Nathan Redmond on Wednesday night.
Guardiola approached Redmond on the pitch immediately after the final whistle was blown. Sterling and his team-mates celebrated wildly after this diminutive winger curled the winner from outside the box.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss told reporters afterwards that he was merely telling the 23-year-old how much he admired him as a player, a version of events Redmond corroborated through a statement issued via his Twitter account on Thursday.
Nevertheless, the FA has sought observations from Guardiola and the 46-year-old must provide a response in writing by Monday, December 4.
At this stage, there is no misconduct charge levelled against Guardiola, whose side hosts West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday.
Redmond went public on the matter after an article in The Sun newspaper accused Guardiola of aiming foul and abusive language towards him and insisted the Catalan's "intense and aggressive" approach was wholly well-intentioned.
"I want to make it absolutely clear that the Man City manager, Pep Guardiola, did not say what The Sun is falsely claiming in this story," he wrote.
"Yes, he was very passionate, intense and aggressive, but he was only very complimentary and positive to me. He commented on my qualities as a young English player and how he wanted me to attack his team more during the game in a similar way to last season.
"I told him I was doing what my manager had asked me to do in the game. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing negative or offensive was said towards me from Pep and that's what makes him one of the best managers in world football.
"Losing the game the way we did in the last kick of the game after working so hard for 90+ minutes, I was very disappointed. But when one of the world's best managers compliments you or gives advice in any way, you listen."
Guardiola, who will address the media later on Friday to preview the game with West Ham, explained his frustration with Southampton's defensive approach in midweek persuaded him to approach Redmond, who opened the scoring in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium last season.
"Last season he destroyed us here," he said. "I didn't know him last season, I realised how good he is. [On Wednesday] he could not attack because they defend all the time, but that is what it is."
Guardiola has previously been involved in animated on-field encounters, most famously with Joshua Kimmich after his Bayern Munich team drew 0-0 with Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park in 2016.
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