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Guardiola praises Sterling's character after Man City beat Everton

Sterling grabbed his tenth goal of the season against Everton. Credit: PA

Pep Guardiola praised Raheem Sterling's character after the England forward ended a difficult week with a goalscoring display in the victory over Everton.

Sterling has been at the centre of a big debate about racism in football in recent days after being subjected to alleged discriminatory abuse during City's defeat at Chelsea last weekend.

The issue did not appear to affect the 24-year-old's game as he played 90 minutes of the midweek Champions League win over Hoffenheim and he was again in good touch against the Merseysiders.

With a tough schedule ahead, manager Guardiola did opt to rotate Sterling but he came off the bench to score City's third as they wrapped up a 3-1 Premier League success at the Etihad Stadium.

"I see him so calm," said Guardiola in his post-match press conference.

"My feeling is he has handled many situations in the last year. There are many rumours that people have been talking about, and not nice things about him or his family or, in this case, the colour of his skin.

"And that is why I admire him. I admire that it is not easy for him but he is calm, he is happy playing football and he is beloved.

"He is incredible for all the staff, locker room and his team-mates. It is good. Hopefully we can improve on that and move forward."

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Sterling pens new bumper deal at Man City

Raheem Sterling has signed a new deal at Man City. Credit: PA

Raheem Sterling has signed a new contract committing him to Manchester City until 2023, the Premier League champions have announced.

The 23-year-old England forward has been rewarded for his excellent form with an improved package - reportedly worth up to £300,000 per week - that extends his previous deal by three years.

Sterling, who joined City from Liverpool in a deal worth a potential £49million in 2015, was an integral member of last season's Premier League title-winning side and has begun the new campaign in fine style.

Sterling, who has also won the Carabao Cup twice with City, said: "I'm delighted to sign. My development here has been incredible. I felt from the minute I got here it was the right choice for me. It's really paid off for me and I'm really grateful."

Sterling scored 23 goals in all competitions last term and has netted seven more for the club in the opening three months of the current season. He also scored two goals to help England to a memorable victory in Spain last month.

Sterling said: "Every season you come in you want to do better than your previous season. You want to try and develop and get better.

"With the facilities we've got here there's no reason not to. With the coaching staff and the players we have in this team it's the perfect environment to develop and get better."

Sterling agrees new Man City deal according to reports

Credit: PA

Raheem Sterling has verbally agreed a new five-year deal with Manchester City, Press Association Sport understands.

The 23-year-old became British football's most expensive player in 2015 when swapping Liverpool for the Etihad Stadium in a deal rising to £49million.

Sterling has come on leaps and bounds under the tutelage of manager Pep Guardiola, but recently talk has grown over the forward's future, with his existing deal set to expire in 2020.

However, Press Association Sport understands that a new and improved five-year contract has now been verbally agreed with the England international to keep him at the Etihad Stadium.

Sterling played a key role in City's record-breaking title triumph last term and this season has netted four goals in eight Premier League appearances in all competitions.

The 23-year-old's future at the club has been a hot topic since the start of the season.

Guardiola said ahead of August's Community Shield encounter with Chelsea that there was "no doubt" City wanted him to stay, but left the situation in the hands of Sterling's representative and City's director of football Txiki Begiristain.

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