Juventus keeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon has been forced to deny rumours of a dressing-room bust up, after the Serie A leaders defeat to Napoli on Sunday night.
The Partenopei cut Juve's lead atop the table to a single point through Kalidou Koulibaly's 90th-minute winner. And with what should be a challenging match against Inter up next for Juve, the title race in Italy is very much back on.
A report from CalcioMercato claimed that Buffon was critical of his teammates' performances and was involved in a heated row in the dressing room after the final whistle, with defender Mehdi Benatia among those who answered back. However, the veteran keeper has since denied the allegations, calling them 'slanderous' and 'false gossip'.
“It is that kind of clearly false gossip, which follows the defeats of teams that do not seem to have an Achilles heels: teams like Juventus,” the skipper told Juve's official website.
“It attempts to destabilise an environment and undermine the confidence and togetherness of a group. As normal as this is and as something that has always happened since I've been at Juventus, I find it both logical and correct to speak up and that is what I’ve done.
"Nobody, at least in my 17 years at Juventus, has taken it upon themselves to point the finger at another team-mate, blaming them for a defeat, and this will never happen while I am captain of this team.
"I would like to add that Medhi is an extremely respectful, polite person, who is contributing to the cause and forms a part of this exceptional group.
"I'm sorry that I’m forced to point this out, but I have to do it, because in the light of certain news stories, if not slanderous, at least false, I believe that a clarification is due to protect the group and Medhi, who is a fantastic guy.”