Wigan boss Steve Bruce has issued a withered tirade in the direction of Manchester City following their pursuit of Wilson Palacios, prior to his joining of Tottenham.
Bruce has accused City of only registering interest in the talented midfielder to give them political leverage in their bid to land Craig Bellamy, who was a target of Spurs at the time.
It has been alleged that City and Spurs came to an agreement that saw the former drop interest in Palacios on the proviso Tottenham did likewise with Bellamy.
Palacios eventually joined Spurs for £14million last week, while City landed Bellamy, and Bruce said: "They used the boy as a weapon and used our club as a vehicle to get Bellamy.
"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 took the p*** out of us, to be honest. 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."