Xavi was quoted in The Sun as saying that Man City boss Pep Guardiola was keen on launching a big move for Spurs star Alli, who only recently signed a new five-year contract at Tottenham.
“Technically he's the type of player that [Pep] likes, he would adapt perfectly to his style of play," Xavi allegedly said. "It's difficult to imagine Tottenham letting him leave, even though City have huge resources."
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The story made such waves in the English media that Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino described Xavi as an “enemy”, referring to the player's links with Barcelona – a rival of Pochettino’s former club Espanyol.
Xavi is in a period when he loves to talk. He was a Barcelona player, he's my enemy. I know him very well. He tried to destroy our focus to win because he hates me because he's Barcelona – a player, a fan, you know.
"I played against him a lot and when I was a manager [at Espanyol]," Pochettino continued. "Yesterday, Thierry [Henry] was here and we remembered the game that he [Xavi] cheated the referee. He fell down, it wasn't a penalty, but [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic scored for Barcelona and they won the game.
"The marking man was Raul Baena, Xavi fell down and said 'penalty.' They gave a penalty. After, in the video it was very funny because no one touched him and everyone in the media was saying, 'No, no trust me – it was a penalty.' Come on! It goes from lie to lie to lie."
And Pochettino, still furious about the transfer link, concluded:
I don't know what Xavi said but he is working for Manchester City, maybe? He wants to help Guardiola.
However, it appears that Pochettino’s rage was misdirected, with Xavi denying that he ever spoke to The Sun.
The former Barcelona and Spain midfield told Spanish publication Sport that he “never” spoke to the paper, “never” spoke about Dele Alli and “neither” did he link the club with a move for the player.
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