Xavi, the wide-eyed, angelic missionary of Pep's righteous church of tiki-taka, is currently finishing out his career in the Land of Many Human Ruman Rights Violations, Qatar. Yesterday, he stood accused of doing Guardiola's bidding after quotes encouraging Dele Alli to leave Spurs for Man City were attributed to the former Barcelona captain.
The Sun newspaper, presumably fumbling about for column inches to fill following Kelvin McKenzie's suspension, ran an exclusive interview with Xavi on Tuesday, claiming that he speaks frequently with Guardiola, and that Dele Alli is the type of player that interests Guardiola. The interview is on their website:
I speak with Pep, and I know he thinks it is important to sign English players,” they claimed Xavi to have said.
At the moment the best English player there is and also one of the best in Europe is Dele Alli. We are looking at a very special player.
Technically he is the sort of player that Pep likes, the sort of player that suits the style of game that Pep likes his teams to play.
These quotes made their way to Mauricio Pochettino's press briefing yesterday, and the Argentine responded, claiming that Xavi is his "enemy".
He’s in a period when he loves to talk. He was a Barcelona player, he’s my enemy. He tried to destroy our focus to win because he hates me because he’s Barcelona.
I know him very well. He is working for Manchester City, maybe? He wants to help Guardiola .
He also told the press of how he recently reminisced with Thierry Henry about how Xavi won a penalty while playing for Barcelona against the Pochettino-managed Espanyol in 2009.
Yesterday there was Thierry 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. 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.
Xavi, however, has said today that he never spoke to The Sun, telling SPORT that he "never" gave an interview to The Sun, "never" spoke about the England international and, therefore, "neither" did he speak about City's interest in him.