Reports have surfaced that Vincent Kompany's recent omission from Manuel Pellegrini's starting line-up came as a result of a heated dressing room argument with Manchester City team-mate Fernandinho.
Pellegrini dropped captain Kompany to the bench for City's 2-0 victory over Leicester City last week and The Mirror claim the decision came as a result of a heated exchange between the two during the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool the previous weekend.
Kompany was at fault for Jordan Henderson's opener at Anfield and, according to the Mirror, an insider at the club has revealed the skippers mistake lead to some stern words being shared between the defender and Fernandinho.
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Come to blows
When the City squad made their way to the dressing room at half-time it is alleged Fernandinho blasted Kompany for his part in the goal, telling his captain to raise his game and focus during the second half.
Kompany reportedly took exception to the Brazilian's comments, leading to a heated argument between the pair that left teammates fearing the duo would come to blows.
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Despite Pellegrini's pleas, Kompany refused to calm down and City went on to lose the match 2-1, further denting their ever-fading title hopes.
While Kompany has been far from his best this season it's claimed the confrontation was the reason behind him being benched for the visit of Leicester, with Fernandinho being dropped from the match day squad altogether.
Following the win, sealed by goals from David Silva and James Milner, Pellegrini insisted Kompany was simply being rested, telling BBC Sport: "He took it [being benched] very well and without any problems. It was to refresh the team as it was for all those players.
Despite Fernandinho finding himself out of the squad for the following game, it's reported that Pellegrini had sided with his midfielder during the altercation.
The City boss is said to have told Kompany to listen to his teammate who was merely trying to do what was best for the team.
Uncharacteristically, the Belgian defender again took exception and began to launch in to a tirade at anyone who questioned his actions in a move that may have dented his reputation in within the squad.
City have refused to comment on the allegations and it remains to be seen whether either player will be called upon when the Premier League champions make the trip to Burnley this weekend.
With City traveling to Barcelona for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie next Wednesday, the rift could have not come at a worse time for Pellegrini.
His side find themselves 2-1 down from the home leg and look set to be dumped out of the competition by Barca for a second consecutive season.
Things aren't looking great for the Citizens on the domestic front either, with Chelsea currently five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a game in hand.
With questions now raised over his standing among his teammates, the incident could raise doubts over Kompany's future at the Etihad Stadium.
The 28-year-old is one of the club's longest serving players having signed from Hamburg in 2008 and he only put pen to paper on a new five-year deal last summer.
Given City's defensive failings this season and the poor form of both Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis, Pellegrini will be reluctant to lose his captain and will be desperate to mend any dressing room rifts.
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