One of Jose Mourinho's final training sessions as Chelsea manager was marred by a significant bust-up after an unnamed academy star reacted to a firm challenge from Cesc Fabregas, reports the Times.
Tensions were so high at their Cobham training complex on Wednesday that it only took a bit of tinder to ignite a brawl involving half a dozen players, which had to be broken up by coaching staff. It is not clear whether Mourinho himself was involved.
According to the explosive report, Fabregas' challenge, which was strong but fair, was met with a physical reaction from the academy player.
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Several youngsters were taking part in the mixed session and it appears they readily supported their team-mate. To match, senior members of the first-team backed up the Spanish midfielder.
It marked the lowest point in what was a shambolic days training, and the last before Mourinho was given his marching orders by Roman Abramovich on Thursday.
However, it appears as though the Special One was already aware of his fate and had given up on trying to organise one of his famously structured sessions.
His dismissal has only divided the team further with some players, including John Terry, sad to see him go while others are delighted by the prospect of a new regime. Indeed, some players believe the lack of communication and constant criticism played a key role in their disastrous start to the season.
Fabregas, however, doesn't appear to be one of them. He was the first Chelsea star to pay tribute to Mourinho. Since arriving at Stamford Bridge last summer, the pair have formed a strong bond.