Premier League - Paper Round: 'I'll break your leg, ref'

The Daily Mirror reports that the FA have received details of a confrontation in the referee's changing room at Stamford Bridge on Sunday after the defeat to Manchester United involving angry Chelsea officials, Mark Clattenburg and John Obi Mikel.

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Premier League - Paper Round: 'I'll break your leg, ref'
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Mark Clattenbrug papers

The paper claims that the FA has been sent details of scenes that took place in the referee's dressing room at Stamford Bridge, adding: "Scenes became so heated, onlookers described the intervention of security staff as resembling 'bouncers at a pub brawl'."

Clattenburg is believed to have referred to an 'extraordinary incident' in his report. The bust-up came after Chelsea had two men sent off in United's explosive 3-2 win.

The Mirror understands the scenes in Clattenburg’s dressing room area took place almost two hours before Chelsea revealed they were reporting the Gosforth official to the Premier League for allegedly using a racial slur towards two Blues players – Mikel and Juan Mata – on the field of play.

They report that after the final whistle Clattenburg and his assistants were confronted in the officials’ dressing room by a Chelsea delegation of chief executive Ron Gourlay, manager Roberto Di Matteo, his assistant Eddie Newton and Mikel and matters quickly became heated.

The FA launched a formal probe into Chelsea's complaint.

The Times reports that Mikel's allegations that a racial slur was made against him will be backed up by his team-mate Ramires, who has "emerged as a key witness" in the affair as he was closest to Clattenburg and Mikel at the time and "has told team-mates that he heard every word of their exchange".

The Sun reports that "at least three players", among them Ramires, claim to have heard the words.

The Times adds that Chelsea apparently thought long and hard before making their allegations.

"It is understood that several senior players initially felt uncomfortable about the club making such a serious allegation, repeatedly asking Mikel if he was sure that Clattenburg had used the word he thought he had heard, and even questioning whether their team-mate could understand the referee’s Durham accent.

"Mikel’s conviction and the strength of feeling among his team-mates won the day, however, leading Chelsea to conclude that they had no choice but to make a formal complaint."

The paper adds that the FA's investigation is likely to take several weeks before any decision is made whether to lay charges against Clattenburg.

On to other news, and in a story that is almost equally extraordinary Diego Maradona has emerged as the top target to become Blackburn's new manager.

The Mirror reports that club chief Shebby Singh has "opened discussions" with the Argentine legend, who is said to be "keen" to take a new managerial job after recently leaving UAE side Al Wasi.

Finding it hard to believe? You're not alone, since Singh's efforts have apparently sparked "amazement" among other Ewood Park officials.

The Daily Telegraph claims that Maradona is not the only big name target for Blackburn: Harry Redknapp is reportedly about to open talks about taking charge.

The paper is dubious about whether the former Tottenham boss would make the move, however, pointing to his well-known desire to remain based in Bournemouth - impossible for a man managing a club in Lancashire - and also his desire for his next job to be in the Premier League.

It seems Blackburn may have another motive, claiming that "Redknapp's candidacy - however serious it may be - lends credibility to their search for a new manager".

Finally, the Daily Mail serves up the day's best two slices of transfer gossip. First up, Liverpool and Arsenal are set to offer Schalke's German international Lewis Holtby a pre-contract deal in January as his contract with the Bundesliga side enters its final few months; and secondly, Atletico Madrid are to dangle a hugely improved contract in front of Colombian star striker Falcao to try and persuade him not to push for a £46 million transfer to Chelsea.

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