Xavi searching for a ‘rat’ in the Barcelona dressing room | Football

The players believe someone is leaking stories to the media (Picture: Getty)

Barcelona boss Xavi is currently trying to sniff out a ‘rat’ within the dressing room with the players convinced someone on the staff has been leaking stories, according to reports in Spain.

The Catalan giants, who are in action on Wednesday night against Napoli in the Champions League, have fallen off the pace in the Liga title race and, despite an upturn in results lately, are eight points adrift of leaders Real Madrid.

There have been growing murmurs of discontent in the Spanish press while Xavi announced at the end of last month that he would be stepping down as manager at the end of the season, citing ‘the tension that exists around the club’ as the reason.

Stories have ranged from leaks about players’ salaries to potential transfers, as well as breakdowns in relationships and unhappiness from a lack of game time.

According to Spanish television show El Chiringuito, Barcelona’s players are fed up with the constant barrage of negative press and are convinced the leaks are coming from a member of Xavi’s coaching staff.

The manager appears to believe them, and he has reportedly been conducting recent team meetings without any other staff members present as the club seek to find out who the mole is.

An internal investigation has been going on for the past two months without any success and staff members even had to hand over their phones so their WhatsApp conversations could be checked.

Xavi and Barcelona players

Barcelona’s players are unhappy with the constant media leaks (Picture: Getty)

Xavi has reached out to journalists on the Barcelona beat to see if they will reveal who their source is, though they have refused to divulge that information despite being threatened with having their accreditation revoked.

This is far from an unusual occurrence at Camp Nou, with Ronaldo Koeman unearthing a mole who was handing out his team selections while Louis van Gaal also had to root out a leaker.

Frenkie de Jong, who has been the subject of a number of the negative stories, actually hit out at the Spanish media this week, saying: ‘Recently I am a little angry with what the press write in general.

‘A lot of stuff that is not true has come out. I can’t understand it, people reporting lies. It’s irritating me a little.

‘For example, [the media] speak a lot about my contract, my salary etc … it’s a lot of smoke, a lot of lies, that I’m earning €40million (£34m) or whatever. That is a long way from what I earn. I won’t say numbers, but a story has been invented that is not true.

‘[The media] must change what they are doing to many coaches and players, because you are writing things and inventing things that are not true.

‘I am really happy at Barca, I have always said it. This is the club of my dreams, I hope I can play here for many more years.’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, 
Twitter and Instagram.


MORE : Frenkie de Jong ‘angry’ over Barcelona exit rumours after Manchester United and Chelsea transfer links


MORE : Pep Guardiola cannot hide massive grin when asked about Man City’s transfer talks with Kylian Mbappe’s agents


MORE : Kylian Mbappe ‘has already signed Real Madrid contract’ with unveiling date revealed

General Sport