Eden Hazard caused a stir when he limped off midway through Chelsea's 2-1 defeat against Leicester on Monday after a seemingly innocuous tackle from Jamie Vardy.
Under-fire boss Jose Mourinho revealed afterwards that Hazard made the decision to sub himself off in '10 seconds' - prompting speculation that the reigning PFA Player of the Year was less than committed to the cause as the Blues fight to overcome their woeful start to the season.
The Chelsea boss said afterwards: "It must be a serious injury because he just left the pitch and just made the decision not to go in."
Now Belgian paper Nieuwsblad have run an article this morning under the headline "Did Hazard fake a serious injury to boycott Mourinho?", pondering whether the former Lille man's relationship with the Special One is at breaking point.
Hazard has been sent for scans following the hip injury, and has been in contact with Belgium's national team doctor. The paper claims that further scans are required to fully assess the injury, however, the forward is expected to be fit to face Sunderland this weekend.
Mourinho and Hazard have shared a fractious relationship in the past, dating back to when the pair publicly fell out when the Chelsea boss accused his star player of not putting in a shift defensively.
The saga adds another element of intrigue to the controversy surrounding Chelsea, after Jose Mourinho claimed he had been 'betrayed' by some of his players following the loss against Leicester, which leaves them down in 16th place and 20 points adrift of the Foxes at the top of the table.
"One of my best qualities is to read the game for my players and I feel like my work was betrayed," he said.
Interestingly, the reports from Belgium come on the same day that the Daily Mail have run a piece claiming that Hazard's form has been affected by his role in doctor Eva Carneiro's controversial exit from the club earlier this season.
Mourinho strongly criticised Carneiro and physio Jon Fearn for treating an injured Hazard towards the end of Chelsea's game against Swansea, and subsequently banished the pair from attending matchdays.
Carneiro has now left the club, and had lodged a complaint against Chelsea and Mourinho, which is still pending. The 42-year-old is also seeking damages from Mourinho for sexual discrimination after he allegedly used insulting language during a game.
Do you think that Hazard faked his injury during Chelsea's defeat against Leicester?
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