Young Everton goalkeeper Ciaran O'Loughlin was taken to hospital with a neck injury following an alleged brawl at the Premier League club's Finch Farm training ground on Monday.
According to The Sun, the U18s stopper was injured after a bust-up with another Toffees player and Merseyside police are now investigating claims that an assault took place.
"A 17-year-old male received injuries to his neck during an argument with an 18-year-old male," confirmed a police spokesman. "He was taken to hospital where he is being treated. The investigation is ongoing."
O'Loughlin has been with Everton for nearly ten years after joining the club's academy at the age of eight. He's yet to make a significant impression on Roberto Martinez and break through to the first-team, but is understood to be highly thought of by academy coaches that look after the development squad.
It remains to be seen whether the talented teenager is able to forge a professional career at Goodison Park, but this latest incident will be a negative blot on what will hopefully be a bright future for the Birkenhead-born youngster.
Article continues below
An Everton spokesperson was reluctant to comment in too much detail, but said: "The matter is being investigated internally and the club will make no further comment."
The other youth team player involved remains unidentified at this stage, but could face formal charges in addition to an expected reprimand by the football club if he is found guilty of the allegations levelled against him.
O'Loughlin, who is eligible to play for England or Ireland through family links, will probably want to just put the whole episode behind him as he looks to knuckle down and continue his development with a view to eventually challenging the likes of Tim Howard and Joel Robles for a starting spot in the senior team.