Manchester City striker Robinho believes uncertainty among the squad is behind their surprise struggles so far this season.
The Citizens are currently languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League table despite the 11-goal input of their £32million club record signing.
Robinho was lured to Eastlands in August following the takeover of the club by the Abu Dhabi United Group and more high-profile signings are expected to follow in the footsteps of the Brazilian.
However, Robinho believes the threat of being replaced by a new signing is having an adverse effect on the players currently on the club's books.
"It is incredible that with this squad we have appeared to be fighting relegation," he told the Daily Mail.
"I must admit I don't really understand it and it has been the one question talked about more than any other in our dressing room.
"One theory I have is that the constant rumours about possible reinforcements in January have damaged us in some way.
"Some of my team-mates do perhaps fear for their future and that is not positive, I guess.
"But there is nothing we can do about that apart from try not to let it affect us."