Barcelona defends against Guardiola comments

The Spanish champion has dismissed its former coach's accusations that it used Tito Vilanova's health problems to discredit the current Bayern boss.
Barcelona has insisted that it never used Tito Vilanova's illness to attack Pep Guardiola in the wake of the Bayern Munich coach's outburst on Thursday.

Guardiola launched a scathing attack on Barca president Sandro Rosell at a press conference this week, accusing him of using Vilanova's health problems as a means of painting him "in a negative light." The Catalans have quickly hit back at the current Bayern coach via Jordi Cardoner, vice president of the club’s Area Social.

"We have never used Tito's illness for anything," Cardoner was quoted as saying by Sport.

The relationship between Guardiola and Barcelona could turn even more sour if the Bayern coach succeeds in luring Thiago Alcantara away from his former club.

Guardiola admitted on Thursday that he is keen to bring the 22-year-old to the Bundesliga, and Bayern is ready to meet the Spain international's 18 million euro buy-out clause, although it faces stiff competition for his signature from Manchester United.

Thiago has a contract with Barcelona until the summer of 2015, but the failure to participate for a stipulated amount of minutes in 2012-13 has seen his exit clause plummet from 90 million euros to the more attractive 18 million; however, his minimum fee release clause returns to 90 million on Aug. 1.