Pep Guardiola dismisses Yaya Toure's racism allegations as 'lies'
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has denied Yaya Toure's claim that he didn't pick the Ivorian at Barcelona due to the colour of his skin.
In a scathing and explosive interview with France Football last week, Toure said that Guardiola was cruel to him during their time together in Spain and that he began to wonder if his perceived mistreatment from his manager stemmed from a race issue.
Toure said: “He was cruel with me. Do you believe that Barcelona could have done that with (Andres) Iniesta? I even started wondering to myself whether it was about my colour.
"I'm not the first person to talk about his different ways of treating people. I know some other people at Barca who have also wondered about that. Maybe it's the case that we Africans aren't always treated by certain people in the same way that they treat others.
“When you see that he's had problems with Africans wherever he's been in the past, you wonder. When the day comes that he picks a team featuring five Africans - and not naturalised Africans - I promise I will send him a cake!”
Guardiola refuted the allegations and also highlighted the timing of Toure's interview.
“It’s a lie and he knows it,” Guardiola said in an interview with Catalan station TV3.
“We were together for two years and now this is when he says it. He never told me face to face.”
Touré, 35, played over 2300 minutes in each of his first six seasons at Manchester City but he saw that number dwindle to 1946 minutes played in Guardiola's first season and then just 228 minutes played in City's title winning campaign.
The midfielder had to wait until City's final home game of the season against Brighton for his first start of the season.