Man City assistant Mikel Arteta denies insulting Barcelona's Lionel Messi
Manchester City assistant manager Mikel Arteta has denied claims he insulted Barcelona's Lionel Messi after the teams' Champions League game on Tuesday, according to Onda Cero radio.
Onda Cero spoke to Arteta, who did not wish to be quoted, and reported that the former Everton and Arsenal midfielder, who came through the ranks at Barca, was disappointed to be linked with a controversy that he says is false.
On Wednesday, a club source at City denied reports of an allegation to ESPN FC but Spanish channel La Sexta TV later claimed that Arteta had a heated exchange with Messi following City's 3-1 triumph over Barca at the Etihad stadium.
According to La Sexta, Arteta told Messi: "Who are you waiting for? Go on to the changing room, you twit."
Onda Cero said Arteta went to speak to Messi on the pitch after the game but saw that the Argentina captain was angry and was waiting to have words with the referee and then told him to go straight to the changing room.
The report added that when Arteta saw Messi in the tunnel later, the Barca star spoke in a derogatory way toward him. However, Arteta reportedly said he did not insult Messi at any time during either exchange.
City midfielder Fernandinho has also denied claims he provoked Messi after the game, calling the rumours "absurd."
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.