Mamadou Sakho's Liverpool future has been plunged into doubt after it emerged that he has been sent home from the club's tour of the US.
The Frenchman, who only recently put his UEFA drugs ban beyond him, is alleged to have left manager Jürgen Klopp angry with his attitude at their training base in Palo Alto in California.
As a result, he has directly ordered Sakho to board a flight back to England.
The 26-year-old turned up late for Liverpool's departure flight to the United States, just hours after their 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town last week and is said to have left Klopp infuriated with his further conduct.
Klopp feels he had no other choice but to take disciplinary action on Sakho. Just days ago, the Reds boss joked about leaving Sakho stranded on Alcatraz Island on a team visit to the infamous former federal prison offshore of California.
But though the pair laughed it off, their relationship since is said to have declined, leading to his stay in Silicon Valley being cut short.
Sakho joined left-back Brad Smith on an overnight flight to Heathrow, with the Aussie on his way to Bournemouth to complete a medical ahead of a £6 million move.
Defender sent back from the US with future uncertain
The former Paris Saint-Germain captain will continue to have treatment back at Melwood, with Liverpool having declined to comment on the reasons for Sakho's dismissal despite confirming he has been sent home.
It continues a tumultuous last few months for the defender, who hasn't played since April after being tested positive for a fat-burning substance which saw him serve a provisional 30-day suspension.
That saw him miss Liverpool's Europa League final defeat and competing in Euro 2016 for his country as hosts and his case was eventually dismissed without further punishment earlier in July.
Set to miss the start of the Premier League season, the Reds will continue their commitments with fixtures against Chelsea, AC Milan and AS Roma over the next week.
Lucas Leiva and Joe Gomez, also both injured, will remain with the squad despite being unable to play any part in their upcoming friendlies.
Speculation will undoubtedly continue over Sakho's dismissal from the squad, with many hoping that the motivation of the decision is to speed up Sakho's recovery with a treatment programme back on Merseyside - rather than indicating a more serious fall-out.
In other news, Ragnar Klavan could be set to make his Liverpool debut against Chelsea on Wednesday night in Pasadena.
The Reds travel to Pasadena's Rose Bowl to meet their Premier League opponents, with Joel Matip expected to sit out the match after just recently returning to training from ankle bruising.