Mark McGhee insists he has "no case to answer" over Aberdeen's pursuit of Darren Barr after coming under fire from Falkirk boss Eddie May.
Dons manager McGhee and Hibernian counterpart John Hughes are both keen to sign Bairns captain Barr, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
May has accused his SPL colleagues of being disrespectful to Falkirk by going public with their interest in the Scotland defender.
But McGhee hit back on Monday, saying: "I didn't walk in here and announce it to you.
"I was asked because someone at Falkirk apparently told the local reporter that there had been an enquiry or that Darren Barr had been discussed between Falkirk and ourselves.
"It certainly wasn't us who brought it into the public domain, so there's no case to answer there."