West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta has claimed the club dressing room has been suffering following the constant transfer rumours surrounding players within the club.
Most notable has been the speculation surrounding top scorer Marko Arnautovic, who had been linked with a move to China this January.
With other rumours of players leaving the club circulating over the last month, coupled with some poor results on the pitch, Zabaleta admits the behind the scenes on-goings have had a negative effect West Ham in January.
“Honestly, I think so many situations off the field have been creating a little bit of a bad atmosphere," he said, via the Sun.
“When you see so much speculation around the team, players moving on, or some coming in, that can distract a little bit with the atmosphere in the dressing room, it’s hard for the manager as well.”
“I understand January is a difficult month for clubs, because you can have big interest in your best players," the 34-year-old added.
“But Arnie was out of the squad for two games, he’s been the main player for us. That’s not what you need as a team. If you want to have a good season, everyone needs to try and push the same way - as a team. I’m not saying it’s all about Arnautovic, it’s not only his situation. There have been many players, names around the media."
West Ham will be looking to bounce back from Tuesday's 3-0 defeat at Wolverhampton when they take on Liverpool in the Premier League on Monday.