Didier Drogba had to suffer the ignominy of training with the Chelsea academy players yesterday with the player privately claiming that he has been victimised by Luiz Felipe Scolari for the club's run of poor form.
The 30-year-old striker was left out of the squad for the trip to Southend having started Chelsea's three previous games. The club maintain that he must buckle down and concentrate on regaining his form of last season. In reality, however, both sides are locked in a stalemate in which Drogba wants out but no club are prepared to meet Chelsea's £15m valuation.
The Chelsea assistant first team coach Ray Wilkins denied that Drogba's relationship with Scolari had broken down. "I wouldn't have thought so," he said. "From what I have seen on the training pitch it doesn't point to the fact that they are at breaking point."
For his part Drogba believes he has been unfairly singled out after Chelsea's poor performance against Manchester United on Sunday. Despite the fact that he did not travel with the squad on Tuesday night he was still required to be at the training ground yesterday. Drogba has been outspoken in interviews already this season, complaining that Scolari will not pick him alongside Nicolas Anelka.
It was a similar scenario in the summer when Drogba's wish to leave was not balanced by any offers from clubs that came close to persuading Chelsea to do a deal. There was interest from the likes of Milan and Internazionale but nothing serious. He will be sold in the summer regardless, not least because he will be a free agent in 2010.
There is no chance of Chelsea disposing of the player this season and there is every chance that he will figure again soon.