Barcelona coach Pepe Guardiola has denied that he froze Yaya Toure out of the club, insisting that the midfielder asked for a transfer and that the Catalans "tried to convince him to stay".
Toure, 28, left Camp Nou in July 2010 for big-spending Manchester City in a dealt worth around £24 million and enjoyed a fine first season, winning the FA Cup and helping Roberto Mancini's side qualify for the Champions League for the first time.
The Ivory Coast international has since claimed he was forced out of Barca and this week reiterated that stance, insisting Guardiola "ignored" him and that he "did not want to leave".
"When I spoke with Guardiola he left me blank," Toure said. "His explanations were a bit strange and he ignored me up until I had the offer from City. My family were laughing because they thought my situation at the club with Guardiola was a joke.
"At the end Guardiola spoke to me, but initially he never said anything. He had no confidence in me. I wanted to stay and he did not. If Guardiola had spoken to me I would have stayed at the club. I did not want to leave. I wanted to finish my career at Barca."
But Guardiola has responded by rejecting Toure's comments, with the Barca boss recalling events towards the end of Toure's spell at Camp Nou differently to his former player.
"The doors of my office were always open," Guardiola said. "The reality is that he asked president Joan Laporta to leave and that we tried to convince him to stay. If we face City in the Champions League I'll talk to him."