Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare said he “has never had any falling-out” with former manager Claudio Ranieri.
Ranieri was sacked by the Premier League champions in February and said on Monday night that “someone behind” him may have been working against him.
Shakespeare said: “We have never had any arguments or hard feelings.
“Free speech is there for everybody. I don’t have any problem with that. I have a clear conscience.”
Speaking on Sky Sports on Monday, Ranieri hinted at problems with somebody at Leicester, but refused to name anyone, leaving Shakespeare to face questions in the build-up to Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final with Atletico Madrid.
Ranieri said: “I don’t want to say who it is. I am a loyal man. What I had to say, I said face to face.”
Shakespeare, who did not see the interview live, said that he had spoken with Ranieri on the day the Italian was sacked and believed their relationship was good.
“Claudio was in good humour, he came across exactly as I know him,” Shakespeare said.
“My stance is the same from my first interview [as manager] when I stated that I’d spoken to Claudio the night he was relieved, he thanked me for my time, and I thanked him.
“He said it was football. It was good to see him enjoying his football and he came across really well.”
‘Games like this give you a tingle’
Leicester won their first five league games under Shakespeare before losing at Everton on Sunday but start as underdogs against an Atletico side who have reached the Champions League final in two of the past three seasons.
Captain Wes Morgan has travelled with the squad but is not fit to start as the Foxes look to cause the latest upset in a remarkable couple of seasons.
“These are the nights that drive you on,” said Shakespeare.
“When you look at where the club has come from, to walk through a stadium like this, a lovely traditional ground filled with cups and trophies, it gives you a tingle.”