The mutual respect between Cesc Fabregas and Jose Mourinho was, by all accounts, practically non-existent before the latter picked up the phone and convinced the Spain international to play for Chelsea earlier this summer.
It took a lengthy conversation for Mourinho to build some form of trust between himself and the player - but the Blues' boss may have ruined that with a quite stupid remark about Real Madrid's Luka Modric issued to the press this week.
Mourinho admits Modric interest
Mourinho admitted he had asked Modric whether he would be interested in leaving the Bernabeu for Stamford Bridge earlier this summer - only to be told that he was happy in the Spanish capital - thus implying that Fabregas was only his second-choice central midfield option.
Hardly the sort of thing you want to hear your manager admitting, especially publicly, when you've just left the club of your dreams in order to play for a coach you previously thought very little of.
Players like to feel loved when they arrive at a new club - and Fabregas, despite his worldwide reputation and medal collection, is no different.
The last thing he needed was for Mourinho to reveal - inadvertently or otherwise - that he wasn't the revered Portuguese coach's first-choice pick. It's not exactly a move that will inspire much confidence or respect from the player.
Mourinho often has a motive when it comes to his controversial comments to the press - but his willingness to openly reveal that he wanted to sign Modric for Chelsea was downright foolish.
It's the sort of thing you might expect from a manager with far less experience of managing a top club - David Moyes immediately springs to mind - or a manager with considerably less intelligence than Mourinho, who is an extremely smart man.
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If this was an attempt to remind Fabregas that even he is not untouchable at Stamford Bridge, then it was certainly a strange way of going about it.
Perhaps this was a subtle attempt to remind Fabregas of who's boss - despite Mourinho's niceties to lure the former Arsenal star to west London.
Watch: Fabregas tells Mourinho to 'shut up'
Mourinho should have known better
But, as far as we're aware, Fabregas has done little to rock the boat since his arrival at Chelsea. The 27-year-old appears to have settled in well and produced a hugely encouraging debut performance against NK Olimpija Ljubljana last weekend.
If Fabregas did feel a little bemused - or even insulted or angered - by Mourinho's comments regarding Modric, then it's hard to blame him.
Mourinho should have known better - and now he will need to win Fabregas's trust all over again.
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