Everton duo Morgan Schneiderlin and Kevin Mirallas were sent home from Finch Farm by coach Duncan Ferguson on Saturday (4 November) due to a lack of effort in first-team training.
The Liverpool Echo claim that the Frenchman and Belgian were both told to leave Everton's training base on the eve of their crucial clash against Watford on Sunday, which they won 3-2, and were perhaps unsurprisingly omitted from the matchday squad by interim boss David Unsworth, who led the Toffees as they fought to come back from two goals to win at home for only the second time in their history - the other coming against Wimbledon on the last day of the 1993/94 season.
Ferguson, an Everton icon after scoring 73 goals during two spells with the club, was unhappy with the pair's approach to training and told the pair to leave the session if they had no interest in taking matters seriously. The midfielder and attacker subsequently walked off the pitch and were dismissed from the club's training complex.
Schneiderlin has endured an awful start to the new season. The former Manchester United midfielder, who joined Everton in a deal worth £24m in January, has already been sent off twice since the start of the campaign and, like the majority of his teammates at Goodison Park, has performed well below the level expected of a player of his calibre.
The 27-year-old was given his marching orders on Thursday, when Everton's Europa League campaign ended in abysmal fashion against Lyon, and his recent reported misdemeanour will earn him no allies on Merseyside.
Schneiderlin has been in a regular fixture in the Everton starting line-up this season, but Mirallas, who signed a new three-year deal at Goodison just a few months ago, featured rarely under former manager Ronald Koeman.
Mirallas fell out with the Dutchman at the start of the season and was close to leaving the club in the summer transfer window, but a permanent move for the former Lille star failed to materialise. This latest sorry episode could be the one to end his Everton career amid interest from his former club Olympiakos, who failed to secure his signature in the dying embers of the summer window.
Mirallas took to Instagram to tell of his disappointment over his failed switch away in the summer, and on Sunday night he posted a brief message on social media saying: "Thank you for all your messages. It's a difficult situation for me, but in life there are things much more serious than my personal situation."