The Xavi-Pep Guardiola-Mauricio Pochettino-Dele Alli story just got a heck of a lot dumber. Two days after Xavi reportedly told The Sun that Pep Guardiola is interested in purchasing Dele Alli and bringing him to City this summer, and one day after Mauricio Pochettino jokingly said that Xavi only said that because Poch is an Espanyol loyalist and therefor hates him, we get another development.
Now, Pep Guardiola has broken his silence and said that, nope, City were never interested in Dele Alli to begin with. Here’s what Pep had to say:
"Mauricio Pochettino has to stay calm. Dele Alli is going to be his player next season, I am pretty sure of that.
"We don't want Dele Alli. He is a fantastic player. He is such good news for English football. He is a fighter, attacking the box he is one of the most fantastic players I've seen in my life.
"But Manchester City doesn't want Dele Alli."
Nope, I’m sure one of the richest clubs in world football has absolutely no interest whatsoever in the two-time PFA Young Player of the Year and a burgeoning superstar. This sounds to me like a means of acknowledging that a) Dele Alli is going to cost more money than God, and b) other Premier League clubs have precisely zero percent chance of actually prying him away from Daniel Levy.
And wait, it gets dumber! Because Xavi has also come out and denied that he said anything to an English paper about Dele Alli at all!
However, now playing in Qatar, Xavi has told 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.
We will, for now, overlook the compounded dumbness that the SPORT quotes from Xavi denying that he spoke about Dele Alli are apparently the words “never,” “neither,” and “never” again.
What do all these things have in common? Well, The Sun. Which is an awful paper with an awful reputation, and one I regularly ignore when searching for corroborating news sources. They were, in fact, the source for all of this mess, since it was in The Sun that the original Xavi quotes first appeared.
To be clear, I’m not at all insinuating that The Sun did anything ridiculous like fabricating Xavi quotes or anything like that. Instead, I suspect this is more a nothing story featuring quotes from a former professional footballer that were taken out of context, that then snowballed out of control and required both Xavi and Pep to quickly backpedal out of the frame as quickly as possible.
That’s transfer season for you, everyone. Let’s just forget this ever happened.