Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has dismissed allegations of racism made against him by former player Yaya Toure.
As noted by Richard Fay of the Manchester Evening News, after leaving City this summer Toure has lashed out at Guardiola, saying he has an issue with African footballers.
Speaking to TV3 (h/t Fay), the City boss denied the suggestions made by the Ivory Coast international.
"They were lies, and he knows it," he said. "We were together for two years, and he says it now—he never told me to my face."
As relayed by Fay, Toure's agent, Dimitri Seluk, has backed the allegations made against Guardiola by his client.
"He turned all Africa against himself, many African fans turned away from Manchester City," he said. "And I'm sure that many African shamans in the future will not allow Guardiola to win the Champions League."
As we can see here, in the past the relationship between Seluk and Guardiola has been somewhat edgy:
The manager has worked with Toure for many years throughout their respective careers, and each has enjoyed prosperous moments during their time together.
At Barcelona, the duo won the UEFA Champions League in 2009, with Toure impressing in the final. In the season just gone, while the midfielder was on the periphery for much of the campaign, City dominated the Premier League and clinched the League Cup too.
Toure played his final game for City late in the season against Brighton & Hove Albion and was given a tremendous send-off by the Etihad Stadium.
Ahead of the match, Guardiola was full of praise for the 35-year-old.
"He is beloved, he is calm, he loves football and I'm very pleased with the success he has had," said the manager, per the City website. "The footballers made the club bigger and bigger and bigger. He is one of the most important players in the whole history."
Toure is rated as one of the greatest players City have ever had. In his career with the club, he won the Premier League three times, the League Cup twice and the FA Cup too.