QPR striker Charlie Austin has lambasted West Ham co-owner David Sullivan for making "misleading" comments about his physical condition and an "outrageous slur" on his professionalism.
Austin has been linked with a move to Upton Park throughout the close-season following QPR's return to the Championship, but Sullivan ruled out making a move for a player who scored 18 Premier League goals last term, citing concerns over his fitness and quality.
Speaking to the 'Knees Up Mother Brown' podcast, Sullivan said: "He failed a medical at Hull a couple of years ago. They say he has no ligaments in his knee, who knows? He could go on for years, but knowing our luck his knee will go in his first game and that's the end of it.
"And he didn't keep Queens Park Rangers up. If he'd kept them up single-handedly you might say it was different - and a few of those goals were penalties.
"When we played Queens Park Rangers last year they had to win to stand any chance of staying up and he wasn't very good."
Former Burnley star Austin has now hit back at those comments via a statement on Twitter.
"I feel I have no option but to address the inaccurate, misleading and uninformed innuendo about my physical condition that has been raised by an individual who is not privy to my personal health history," he wrote.
"It is one of a number of inaccurate reports about my so-called injury problems which have been made over the summer.
"For the record there is nothing wrong with my 'ligaments', as has been suggested. My strength and performance in pre-season has been excellent and with two goals in my last two games I don't think there is any doubt that my match sharpness is as good as ever.
"I scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season, which would not be possible were I feeling discomfort or pain.
"Like many professional footballers, I have the legacy of injuries picked up over my career but the effect on my day-to-day training and on match day is non-existent.
"For a senior figure at a Premier League club to insinuate that I could break down at any moment is an outrageous slur on my professionalism and the work that has gone into making the footballer I am today."
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.