'I declare war' - Sterling responds to prankster Silva's Instagram jibe

The Manchester City pair have been in joking mood after a stunning season together with Bernardo taking aim at the England man's unusual running style

Manchester City star Bernardo Silva looks to have a war on his hands – after a formal declaration from team-mate Raheem Sterling.

Silva has been kicking back in Miami after a stunning season with his club and providing the match-winning assist as Portugal won the inaugural Nations League final.

The 24-year-old was in playful mood, taking to his Instagram story to post a goading video with a snapback apparently swiped from his friend Sterling.

In a series of posts, Silva teased Sterling with his friends, filming and laughing in the background as one mimicked Sterling’s signature running style – which the England man has admitted in the past is on the unorthodox side.

But Silva’s smile might be wiped off his face as Sterling promised to fight back with fire and fury.

“Bernardo, Bernardo, Bernardo, you silly boy,” he said on his own Instagram story. “I declare war. Watch. Ok. Ok, ok, ok.”

Wherever this conflict leads them on the long and apparently uneventful summer without domestic football, Silva and Sterling will surely be itching to get back on the pitch after combining to deliver an unprecedented treble for Manchester City.

Sterling bagged 23 goals and 17 assists in all competitions as his star continued to rise under Pep Guardiola’s tutelage, while Silva’s performances have seen him thrust into the conversation for this year’s Ballon d’Or.

His all-action displays, combining grace and grit and acting as a replacement for the injured Kevin De Bruyne and the out-of-favour Leroy Sane were vital as City lifted all three domestic trophies.

The good times look to keep on coming – despite links with Juventus, boss Guardiola has reaffirmed his commitment to the club. Given Sterling and Silva’s development under him, the pair will certainly have been relieved to see Juventus appoint Maurizio Sarri as manager instead.

Given the non-stop nature of modern football, they had best enjoy their time off as City’s pre-season gets underway in less than a month’s time.

A pre-season tour of China sees them take part in the Premier League Asia Trophy against Newcastle, West Ham and Wolves, with the Hammers up first on July 17.

Following the tour, they will return to England for the Community Shield against European champions Liverpool on August 4. With City having won the FA Cup, Liverpool are in the curtain-raiser by virtue of having finished second in the Premier League.