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Premier League

Yaya Toure denies dressing-room fight with Manchester City team-mate Mario Balotelli


Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has insisted claims he had a dressing-room fight with team-mate Mario Balotelli are not true and have upset both players.

Reports alleged the pair had a bust-up at half-time in City's 3-3 draw at home to Sunderland last weekend and clashed previously in the defeat at Swansea.

But Toure said he views Balotelli as a "brother" and "loves" him.

"They said I fought with Mario at Swansea and against Sunderland," he said in an interview with 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."