West Ham United captain Kevin Nolan claims the club's players thought midfielder and Arsenal target Mohamed Diame left Upton Park, when he did not arrive in time for a team meeting.
The Senegal international, who has been heavily linked to Arsene Wenger's side, got some stick from his teammates for being late for a 7am team meeting, the day after they suffered a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of the Gunners at the Emirates.
"Mo Diame was a bit late. When he arrived we all gave him stick. We said we thought he had left us without saying goodbye. There is a lot of speculation in the media about Mo," the Daily Mirror quoted Nolan as saying.
"To be fair to him, he took all the banter really well. We were all upset and disappointed with the result at the Emirates and I apologise to our fans. We are now focusing on the match at Fulham," the 30-year-old added.
Reports claim that Diame, who has a £3.5m release clause in his West Ham contract, reported an hour late for training, infuriating manager Sam Allardyce. The two are believed to have had an argument, with the player later confiding to friends that he wants to move to cross-town rivals Arsenal.
Allardyce: I'm Confused
Meanwhile, Allardyce says he cannot confirm if Diame would still be a West Ham player at the end of this window.
The 25-year-old has been linked with a move to either Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur, and rather than insisting that the player would not be sold in January, the manager has now stated that he has been left confused by the turn os events.
"It is total confusion. I'm as confused as anyone. We might lose him. I hope we don't," the 58-year-old told Goal.com.
Diame, who joined West Ham as a free agent in the summer from Wigan Athletic, has impressed at Upton Park this season and was the standout performer in the Hammers' 3-1 win over London rivals Chelsea in December.