Manchester City’s Yaya Toure is claiming rumours a dressing-room fight he had with Mario Balotelli are untrue and that he loves the Italian.
The Blues’ duo allegedly had a bust-up at half-time the 3-3 draw at home to Sunderland last weekend, and also clashed previously in the defeat at Swansea.
But Toure has said that reports of altercations with a suffering Balotelli have upset him and are false.
"They said I fought with Mario at Swansea and against Sunderland," he told the Daily Mail. "That shocked me. My lawyers called me about this and it was the first I knew about it.
"It's just not true. It didn't happen. I am a footballer, not a boxer. People don't know my relationship with Mario. He's not my friend, he's my brother and I love him.
“To say we had a fight is very sad. It upset me and I feel sorry for Mario. He suffers most from these things.
"At half-time against Sunderland it was very difficult. We are trying to win the league and are losing 2-1. It's not good. But everybody was quiet. We were just looking at each other, trying to find a way to turn the result.
"But I didn't even talk to Mario. The next day he sent me a text message saying, 'Apparently we had a fight'. I just want to stop people writing and thinking that."