Pep Guardiola has dismissed Yaya Toure's claim he has a problem with African players as a lie and questioned why the midfielder made a decision to try and tarnish his reputation so soon after leaving Manchester City.
Toure made only 17 appearances for the Premier League champions last season, though at 35 that was to be expected.
The Spaniard has now responded to the accusations, telling Catalan station TV3: "It's a lie and he knows it".
"We have been together during two years. He never told me face to face", he added. I don't know why but I have the impression that he was jealous, he took me for a rival.
In an interview with France Football magazine, Toure criticised Guardiola's methods and views his successes in coaching as a "myth".
If Toure lowers his sights, former City manager Manuel Pellegrini could try and sign him for West Ham.
"We have been together during two years".
Toure found himself under an unimpressed Guardiola once again when the gaffer moved to City from his Bayern job in 2016. When you see the problems he (Pep) has often had with African players, everywhere he has been, I ask myself questions. He'll never admit it (not liking Africans).
Guardiola also refuted suggestions he could be tempted to return to Barcelona as manager one day.
"I$3 was at a fantastic age in which I was taking on the world and we took it on, with some incredible players, a young president (Laporta), Txiki". It was a generation of brutal players and the best player in the world (Lionel Messi).
"I even asked coaches for my stats".