The former Arsenal midfielder, who now works as a coach for Pep Guardiola, is alleged to have angered the Barcelona star
The man responsible for Lionel Messi’s reported tunnel altercation after Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Barcelona on Tuesday night is alleged to be Mikel Arteta.
The Spaniard, who is part of Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Man City, reportedly confronted the Barca forward behind the scenes at the Etihad Stadium.
“What are you waiting for?” Spanish TV station La Sexta claim Arteta told Messi in the tunnel. “Go and get changed, asshole.”
Messi, who was reportedly furious with the comment, is alleged to have responded to the former Arsenal midfielder: “Idiot, come over here, don’t run off and hide!”
Arteta, 34, began his professional career at Barcelona but never made an appearance for the first team.
He retired this summer after five years at Arsenal to take a coaching role under Barca legend Guardiola.
Man City midfielder Fernandinho had on Wednesday denied reports that he was the person responsible for triggering an angry reaction from Messi in the tunnel.
Barcelona remain two points clear of Man City in Champions League Group C despite the midweek defeat in which an Ilkay Gundogan double and Kevin De Bruyne free kick cancelled out an opening goal from Messi on the counterattack.