Eden Hazard was one of a number of Chelsea players that were ‘annoyed’ over the situation surrounding Kepa’s refusal to be substituted in their League Cup final loss to Manchester City on Sunday.
Kepa defied his manager’s orders late in extra time after receiving treatment for an apparent bout of cramp, despite the fourth official putting up his number on the board and Willy Caballero being primed to come on.
After the Spaniard, who was within his rights to decline the substitution according to International Football Association Board (IFAB) rules, stood his ground, Maurizio Sarri stormed off down the tunnel, furious that the change was not made.
Spanish contingent Cesar Azpilicueta, Pedro and Marcos Alonso are thought to be fully behind compatriot Kepa, while David Luiz, Willy Caballero, Jorginho and Gonzalo Higuain are ‘all big supporters’ of Sarri.
A source close to Chelsea told the Daily Telegraph: “Some players thought Kepa was wrong, some thought Sarri over-reacted and others were just annoyed with the entire situation.
“Now it’s a question of whether there is any lasting anger or whether everybody can calm down in time for the Tottenham game.
“The squad needs to come together because there have been too many players protecting themselves when things have gone wrong this season.”