Manchester City have hit back at Porto and could lodge an official complaint to UEFA after Champions League rivals Porto’s latest move amid a growing war of words between the two clubs.
Following the goalless draw in Portugal on Tuesday night, City bosses have been left furious with a damning newsletter released by the Portuguese club.
In it, Bernardo Silva has been labelled a "convicted racist", blasted Fernandinho for "lacking class or insight" and insisted Pep Guardiola's side are "lucky".
A City spokesperson said: "This is not the first time that Porto have reacted badly in circumstances like this.
"On this occasion it is the ill-judged and targeted criticism of some of our individual players and indeed our manager, which we wholly reject.
“In 2012, the last season we encountered them, it was the denial by the club of clear racist behaviour of their fans for which they were investigated and fined.
“In this context, this latest outburst is almost as surprising as it is disappointing."
The bad blood between the two sides returned to the fore after City won their Champions League opening group game in October.
Porto coach Sergio Conceicao accused Pep Guardiola of trying to influence referees after the game and also labelled Bernado Silva as “childish” after the boyhood Benfica fan said he particularly enjoyed the victory.
The row continued in the wake of Tuesday's goalless draw in Porto that saw both sides qualify for the knockout stages.
Guardiola accused the home side of negative tactics, with Conceicao hitting back to claim City were a waste of money when he said: "If I had his budget, his players, and still couldn't get a win, I'd be sad too."
Porto’s response singled out Bernardo for special attention, following his one-game ban for posting a racist tweet last year.
He was banned and fined £50,000 after an FA commission accepted he 'did not intend' a tweet about teammate Benjamin Mendy to be 'racist' in November 2019.
Silva had compared Mendy to the character on a packet of Conguitos - a chocolate brand available in Spain and Portugal.
The Porto newsletter has dragged the matter up again and described him as someone "known internationally for having been convicted of racism".
On Fernandinho, it declared: "There should have been a red card given to Fernandinho, who despite being 35 is a clear example that football money counts a lot, but it doesn't buy class or notion."
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