Michel Platini and Vladimir Putin
Michel Platini and Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, in 2013Getty

Michel Platini has denied he was given a Picasso painting by Russia in order to secure the Uefa president's backing for the 2018 World Cup.

Reports in the Sunday Times claimed Russia attempted to curry favour with the Frenchman by raiding its vaults of vintage art.

But the former Juventus midfielder has rebutted the claims, adding he would be taking legal advice.

"Allegations in the Sunday Times relating to my actions in the 2018 and 2022 bidding processes are total fabrications," he said.

"The matter has now been passed to my legal advisers."

The reports cast further scepticism on the legitimacy of Russia and Qatar's respective 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids after lawyer Michael Garcia effectively disowned his own own report into alleged corruption during the voting process.

Russia, it is also claimed, resorted to using the corridors of power at the Kremlin to win the 2018 World Cup, including President Vladimir Putin lobbying Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

Intelligence gathered by England's failed bid also alleged Russia and Qatar colluded over vote-swapping as a result of a huge trade deal for gas.