Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has emphatically refuted Yaya Toure’s allegations that he favours white players, branding the midfielder’s comments ‘lies’.
Toure left City at the end of the season following eight hugely successful years but he brew up a storm earlier this week by claiming in an interview with France Football that Guardiola does not like picking African players.
Kevin De Bruyne quickly leapt to Guardiola’s defence and now the City manager has himself moved to quash Toure’s serious allegations.
They were lies and he knows it,’ he told TV3 in Spain. ‘We were together for two years and he says it now – he never told me to my face.’
Toure fell out of favour under Guardiola last season, making just one Premier League start all campaign as City marched to the title in record-breaking fashion.
And the Ivory Coast midfielder claims the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss was ‘cruel’ to him in his final year at the Etihad.
‘Pep did everything to spoil my last season. He was cruel with me,’ Toure told France Football. ‘Do you really think he could’ve been like that with Andres Iniesta?
‘It got to the point I asked myself if it was because of my colour. I am not the first. Other Barcelona players asked the question.
‘Maybe us Africans aren’t always treated the same by certain people. When you see the problems (Pep) has often had with African players, everywhere he has been, I ask myself questions.
‘He is too intelligent to be caught. He will never admit it. But the day he picks a team with five Africans in it, I promise I will send him a cake.’
The pair could come face-to-face again soon, with the 35-year-old Toure currently in talks with West Ham over a move to the London Stadium this summer.
He was paid £220,000 a week by City and would have to accept a pay cut at West Ham, but the Hammers are confident of getting the deal done.