Federico Macheda has denied calling Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney 'working-class and vulgar'.
Macheda has moved quickly to diffuse a possible conflict with the England striker following comments attributed to him while away on international duty with the Italian Under-21 side.
The 19-year-old striker's comments to the Italian press have been seized upon by their British colleagues and he claims the terms he used have been exaggerated.
Macheda used the term 'coatto' which he claims is far from the 'chav' and 'vulgar' translations used by some tabloid papers.
"I said 'coatto' in the Roman way, but with the minimum intention to offend Rooney," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I like him and I have maximum respect for him.
"What I wanted to say is that for me he is a free spirit and genuine.
"I sent a message to Rio Ferdinand to clarify everything with Wayne and Rio told me not to worry, everything is fine."