Wigan manager Steve Bruce has accused Manchester City of unsettling Wilson Palacios before the midfielder joined Tottenham.
Bruce claims City registered their interest in Palacios as a political move when they were vying with Spurs for Craig Bellamy, agreeing with the Londoners to drop their interest in return for Harry Redknapp's side not fighting them for the West Ham striker.
Palacios eventually joined Spurs for £14million last week and Bruce said: "They used the boy as a weapon and used our club as a vehicle to get Bellamy."
He added: "I have to say Manchester City's behaviour was absolutely disgusting. If they had not come in a week last Friday and unsettled the boy, he would have signed a contract for us.
"He was wobbling and wasn't sure about going to London. We had offered him a contract and he was on the verge of signing that contract.
"Then Manchester City ring him and it's a different ball game. They have shown a lack of respect for this football club and the player himself."
City have rejected Bruce's claims that they behaved improperly.
A club statement read: "Whilst Manchester City FC has the utmost respect for Steve Bruce and his views, the club wishes to make it absolutely clear that the only inquiry made in relation to Wilson Palacios was by a private phone call to (Wigan chief executive) Brenda Spencer.
"The call was made to establish the potential availability of the player. No figures were discussed or any bids made."
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