Pep Guardiola has hit back at fabricated claims from former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure that he is not a fan of African players.
The Ivory Coast international, who brought to an end a successful eight-year spell at the Etihad Stadium last month, launched a scathing attack on the City manager this week.
In an interview with France Football magazine, Toure criticised Guardiola’s methods and views his successes in coaching as a “myth”.
“He [Guardiola] insists he has no problems with black players, because he is too intelligent to be caught out,” the 35-year-old said.
“But when you realise that he has problems with Africans, wherever he goes, I ask myself questions. He will never admit it.
“The other players will never admit it publicly but some have already told me that they ended up hating him. Because he manipulates and plays a lot with your head.”
Toure added: “Actually I want to be the one who breaks the Guardiola myth a bit. Barcelona, he did not invent it. He just had the intelligence to adapt what Cruyff had set up.
“Then, at Bayern and City, he tried to reproduce the same patterns but with this requirement: working with ‘his’ players and with almost unlimited means.”
The Spaniard has now responded to the accusations, telling Catalan station TV3: “It’s a lie and he knows it.
“We were together for two years and now this is when he says it. He never told me face to face.”