Rochdale midfielder Bastien Hery has denied calling the town "a dump" in a French magazine interview.
In a club statement, Rochdale said the Frenchman's interview was mistranslated and taken out of context.
It read: "It has been claimed he labelled Rochdale as 'a dump - gloomy and grey' but a translation has shown that nowhere in the original article does Bastien make such a comment."
Hery, 22, who lives in Stockport, apologised for any "confusion" caused.
"I did the interview for a French magazine and I would never say anything like that about Rochdale - the club or the town," he said.
"Rochdale is my first club and I love it because it has made me what I am now.
"I love the fans because it's a real family club - everyone is close together.
"When I got here they were all so nice to me, so I'm really disappointed that what I have said has been taken the wrong way."
The former Paris St-Germain youth player attracted criticism for the comments attributed to him, including from Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk.
Danczuk responded to the Rochdale statement on Twitter, saying: "Pleased to hear Bastien Hery doesn't think Rochdale's a dump but the fact he won't live here is hardly a vote of confidence in our town."