Liverpool’s Sadio Mane “is not a diver” according to Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp, despite the forward being booked for the offence at the weekend.
Mane, 27, was cautioned in the 37th minute of Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola then appeared to suggest the Senegal international was “sometimes diving”.
“I am not 100% sure if he spoke about Sadio or us in general,” said Klopp in a news conference on Monday.
“I didn’t hear Sadio’s name or know how he [Guardiola] could have known so quick about any incident in the game.
“I can say Sadio is not a diver. There was a situation in the Aston Villa game where he got contact and went down, maybe it was not a penalty but there was contact. It’s not as if he jumped over a leg and went down.”
Liverpool are top of the Premier League, six points ahead of second-placed City with the two teams meeting at Anfield on Sunday.
However, the German said he “was not in the mood to talk about Man City” as the Reds play Belgian side Genk in the Champions League first.
Asked if he was banning the words ‘Manchester City’ until after Tuesday’s match, Klopp replied: “You can say the words Man City, you just cannot think about it.
“The story the boys wrote in the last three years was only possible because we were always focused on the next game.
“No-one thinks, and I don’t have to tell them, ‘City is on Sunday, tomorrow is Genk’.
“I don’t doubt my players at all, I would feel a bit embarrassed if I had to tell them, ‘Don’t think about Man City already’.”
Aston Villa have completed the £20m signing of Bournemouth central defender Tyrone Mings.
“He will be an integral part of the squad for the new season and I look forward to working with him and helping to further develop his game.”
Mings is Villa’s sixth signing of the summer. His transfer follows deals for Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi, who were both also on loan at the club last season, as well as Matt Targett from Southampton, Wesley from Club Brugge and Jota from Birmingham City.
Right-back Frederic Guilbert, who Villa signed from Caen in the January transfer window, has also joined this summer having spent the second half of last season on loan at his previous club.
Villa are pursuing a £10m deal for Egypt midfielder Trezeguet, who plays for Kasimpasa in Turkey.
Trezeguet was in the Egypt team knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations by South Africa in Cairo on Saturday.
Manager Smith and Villa sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch were in Cairo for the match as they explore a potential deal.
Smith and Pitarch also used the trip to Cairo to run the rule over another Aston Villa transfer target, West Bromwich Albion central defender Ahmed Hegazi, who figured in the shock defeat against South Africa.
Villa are determined to strengthen in defence for their return to the Premier League, as proved by the deal for Mings, and the 28-year-old Baggies’ star is also on their radar.
Trezeguet was the main subject of their attention but Villa are also ready to move for Hegazi given any encouragement from their Midlands rivals.
They have also been linked with Stoke City’s England goalkeeper Jack Butland but an initial price tag of £27m has stopped a potential move in its tracks.