German newspaper Bild has mocked Bayern Munich and Pep Guardiola after an unknown source appeared to leak the team's tactics prior to the recent Bundesliga clash with Borussia Dortmund.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness told members of the press his "players are dying of laughter" in light of the headlines, as reported by Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN.
Bild reported Bayern would attack Dortmund with a strategy that "was based on long passes and switching play quickly," as reported by Marca, an assertion that turned out to be true.
While Hoeness remains jovial about a report that is likely to be based on something far more sinister than a hunch, senior squad members such as Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm are said to be agitated over the assertion that one of their colleagues is giving the press vital information.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern's CEO, had previously confirmed "there will be trouble" when the mole is caught, per Marca. This came after Guardiola vowed "heads will roll" if a member of his playing staff is found to be operating against the club.
Bild has latched onto Bayern's disarray and published a report mocking last season's treble winners. Uersfeld's article translates the headline to read, "Bayern threatens to put mole on sale. Read all about how Pep could trace him."
The newspaper report—which features a cartoon mole that appears to be holding its hands out in celebration—fails to give any information as to how Guardiola will track down the culprit.
Guillem Balague of Bleacher Report UK and author of Guardiola's biography claimed the Bayern manager prioritises his players over everything else in an interview with Munich-based newspaper tz, as noted in Uersfeld's report:
He is really bothered that the Dortmund tactics were made public. It is about someone in the dressing room who disregards him.
For Guardiola, everything stands and falls with the group, that’s the essence of his philiosophy. But I don’t think he will take special trouble to trace that person.
He has addressed it and everyone should draw their own conclusions from it. If Pep does not want something then it is to be a policeman.
Bayern are next in action against CSKA Moscow on Nov. 27. While Bild is yet to publish internal knowledge of the manager's strategy for the encounter, Guardiola and the club's board may be nervous to see whether this troubling incident repeats itself.
Although the German champions managed to brush Dortmund aside with a 3-0 win at the Westfalenstadion, the team's morale is significantly threatened during reported moments of mistrust.