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Yaya denies Balotelli bust-ups

Yaya Toure has rubbished claims he fought with Mario Balotelli during Manchester City's recent encounters with Swansea and Sunderland.

• De Jong: Mario can be a fool
• Mancini to stand by Balotelli

Toure was said to have had a half-time bust-up with Balotelli during the 1-0 defeat to Swansea City last month, and there were fresh reports of a row between the pair during the 3-3 draw at home to Sunderland last weekend.

Toure, though, insists the claims are "just not true" and said he views the Italy international as a "brother".

"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."

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