Chelsea boss Graham Potter insists there is nothing “sinister” in a potential fallout between Mykhailo Mudryk and Marc Cucurella.
January signing Mudryk appeared to like an Instagram post criticising Cucurella after expressing frustration with his team-mate during Saturday’s underwhelming 1-1 Premier League draw at West Ham.
Both players have travelled to Germany for the first leg of the Blues’ Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund.
Speaking on the eve of the game at Signal Iduna Park, head coach Potter stressed the pair need time to get to grips with each other’s games as he dismissed suggestions of division in the camp.
“There’s no problem in terms of anything sinister at all,” he told a press conference.
“If anything it’s just team-mates understanding each other, it’s quite a common problem, I would say – when to pass, at what point, at what time.
“Playing against a back five, West Ham make it difficult for you to access maybe the wideman’s feet and it’s just an understanding of when to play in space or how to make the runs.
“Mykhailo, that’s only his third game with us, so there’s no problem. It’s more just an understanding challenge, which is quite easy to understand when you recognise the context that we’re in.”
Left-back Cucurella has struggled for form at Stamford Bridge since a reported £60million summer switch from Potter’s former club Brighton.
Meanwhile, Ukraine winger Mudryk is in line for his first European action for the big-spending Blues following his recent arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk for an initial £62m.
Chelsea, who have recruited a raft of new players under the ownership of Todd Boehly, sit 10th in the top flight on the back of just two wins from their last 13 league outings.
Potter is hopeful the two-time Champions League winners can set aside their poor domestic form in Dortmund.
“It’s the knockout stage of the Champions League, the absolute pinnacle in terms of the game,” he said.
“A great test, playing against a fantastic club and team in front of 80-odd thousand here, so a wonderful occasion.
“We’re all looking forward to the match, we all understand the challenge that awaits us but really excited for it.”
Raheem Sterling has remained in London due to injury but defender Wesley Fofana, who has not played since October, is among the travelling party, while midfielder Denis Zakaria could feature following a three-game absence.