A source close to John Terry admits the Chelsea captain had a series of blow-ups with Jose Mourinho, but insists a clash during last Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Rosenborg did not lead to the manager's demise.
On reports that Terry had dragged his feet over the pre-match warm-up, the source told the Daily Express: "The idea that JT had to be talked into playing by coach Steve Clarke or anyone else is just preposterous. JT was late out because there had been a problem with an injection for his broken toe."
And on the half-time row: "There had been other rows, and there can be no disguising that John suffered a major loss of form in the final third of last season.
"Mourinho often picked on John Terry first. The timing was just unfortunate for John...a bust-up on the day before Mourinho left the club. Yes, they did have a humdinger of a row. The manager pointed a finger at John for Rosenborg's goal, and that riled John.
"The language turned blue. 'Hold on a minute,' Terry said, 'how can you ******* say that, I'm having injections, and playing for you and the team, it's a ******* joke.'
"But Terry was used to that and did not hold a grudge - he had the hump, but he'd never knife him in the back."
The source also said: "John doesn't hate Mourinho. He was not a Judas, and his relationship with him was fantastic despite the succession of rows.
"Terry feels so strongly about suggestions that he is a traitor who stabbed Mourinho in the back that lawyers have already been consulted."
And on Avram Grant? "Will JT be supporting the new man? Yes, he will, 100 per cent."