Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal singled out ex-All Black Julian Savea following the club's latest defeat, saying he "was no longer welcome".
"I'm going to ask for a DNA test, this isn't the Savea that we signed. They must have changed him on the plane," Boudjellal fumed on Sunday, the day after a 19-10 defeat to Agen.
The 2015 World Cup winner joined Toulon amid much fanfare last summer, but the 28-year-old has failed to replicate the form that saw him score 46 tries in 54 caps for New Zealand.
With only two tries since signing for the Top 14 side Savea was no match for the speed of Fijian wing Benito Masilevu in Agen's second try.
Boudjellal, speaking to RMC Sport, said: "I told him (Savea) he was free and no longer welcome at Toulon.
"He has one year left on his contract. He can do what he wants. It's going to be a long year for the club but especially for the player."
He added: "I told him he was released and he was no longer welcome at Toulon! He has got a year left on his contract. He can do what he wants.
"His identical twin brother looks very similar to him... We will have at least learnt that certain physical similarities are very striking.
"Sometimes, some players come for the wrong reasons…"
Toulon are having a woeful season, the side that lifted the European Cup three times in a row between 2013 and 2015 languishing in 11th place in France.
But Boudjellal's comments didn't go down with several players, including former Wallaby and Toulon star Drew Mitchell, who tweeted his disapproval.
This type of carry on from @mouradrct won’t exactly entice other players to play for @RCTofficiel ..— Drew Mitchell (@drew_mitchell) February 17, 2019
Business or not you just don’t treat ppl like this.
Good luck wherever you play next bro! @juliansavea7 https://t.co/rIYHm9QQHL
Mitchell's comment was later retweeted by Ardie Savea, who said added: "F***ing Amen".
Julian Savea later responded with a tweet of his own, saying he would continue to turn up to training.
Putting all the negativity behind me and heading into this week with a positive attitude🤘🏾whether I am welcomed or not I am still contracted to my team and I will continue to train week in and week out with my brothers #endofstory #letsmoveon pic.twitter.com/y7QBqLOyVV— Julian Savea (@juliansavea7) February 17, 2019
And after failing to make the Top 14 play-offs for the first time since 2012 Savea was by no means the only target for Boudjellal's frustration.
Referring to fly-half Anthony Belleau he said: "I can see why he isn't starting for France given his current level.
"Some players are average because they want to leave and others because they won't be as well paid anywhere else. A lot will be let go."
CARTER TO RETURN TO RACING METRO
Former All Blacks fly-half and double World Cup winner Dan Carter will rejoin Racing 92 in March to "win the European Champions Cup", the only competition he's yet to win, club owner Jacky Lorenzetti said on Sunday.
"It's the only title he's missing, he added to his collection with Japan's Top League in December so why not become a European champion with us," Lorenzetti said.
"He wanted to come back, we wanted to have him back, we came to an agreement very quickly on financial conditions," he said.
Coach Laurent Travers played down Carter's impact on the side who face Toulouse in a Champions Cup quarter-final tie on March 31.
"He's not Zorro. We've always been happy with what he brings to the team but he's not going to run across the field and ensure we get good possession but he will help us to build," Travers said.
The French Top 14 club announced he would return on a short-term deal from Japanese side Kobelco Steelers until the end of the season as cover for ex-South Africa fly-half Pat Lambie who announced his immediate retirement in January due to numerous concussions.
Carter, 36, played for the Parisian side for three seasons between 2015-18 when he won the French title but was a runner up in two European finals.
He scored 445 points in 58 games during his last stint in Paris.