Chelsea playmaker Oscar has sought to play down speculation that he was involved in a heated dispute with teammate Diego Costa. Both players featured on the scoresheet for Guus Hiddink's side during their comfortable 3-0 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace on 3 January, yet any notion that the general harmony around Stamford Bridge had improved since the departure of Jose Mourinho was seemingly challenged by suggestions of a training ground bust-up.
According to reports from The Telegraph, Oscar and Costa had to be dragged apart by teammates after producing reckless knee-high challenges on one another on 8 7 January. It is claimed the pair were separated before any physical altercation could ensue but they are believed to have exchanged angry views before eventually making up.
Oscar has now taken to social media to deny those rumours, tweeting: "For those who are talking to me and @diegocosta struggle today in training he's lying, he's one of my best friends and never fight."
The English translation of that message, which ended with a winking emoji, has since disappeared from the Brazil international's Twitter page but the Portuguese version remains at the time of writing.
Although Oscar tends to avoid the limelight, Costa has cut something of a controversial figure since arriving in English football from Atletico Madrid in July 2014. In addition to several on-pitch controversies, the 27-year-old also attracted negative headlines in late November 2015 when he appeared to throw his substitutes' bib in the direction of former manager Mourinho during the latter stages of a goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur.
Hiddink, who achieved the first win of his second spell in charge of the club at Selhurst Park, is sure to be questioned over the alleged incident between his two players later on 8 January, as he holds a press conference prior to Chelsea's FA Cup third-round tie against League One outfit Scunthorpe United at Stamford Bridge on 10 January.