Chelsea and England star Danny Drinkwater is nursing injuries he suffered after he was battered by thugs for trying to bed another footballer’s lover.
The 29-year-old who is on loan at Burnley has subsequently learned to keep of other people’s girlfriend.
Drinkwater clashed with Scunthorpe United’s Kgosi Ntlhe after boozing heavily at Manchester’s Chinawhite club.
He was thrown out by security before a gang of up to six men attacked him with a blunt object. A source said: “It was incredibly nasty with blood everywhere.”
Thugs jumped on the footballer’s ankle in the vicious nightclub attack and chanted: “Break his legs.”
The deliberate attempt to wreck the troubled England star’s career came after he tried to chat up a rival player’s lover.
Drunken Drinkwater, 29, was overheard crowing: “I don’t care, mate, she’s coming home with me.”
When Scunthorpe United’s Kgosi Ntlhe asked him to leave his girlfriend alone, £35million-rated midfielder Drinkwater lashed out.
The pair scuffled before bouncers at Manchester’s Chinawhite club ejected Drinkwater. Outside up to six men jumped on him, leaving him with “horrendous” injuries.
A source said: “At one point he was curled up in a ball on the ground, as they repeatedly jumped up and down on his ankle and shouting, ‘Break his legs’.”
“They knew he was a Premier League star and it was his livelihood. There was blood everywhere, and it was all incredibly nasty.”
Drinkwater suffered torn ankle ligaments in the attack, ruling him out of action for up to a month.
He was also left with a black eye, severely swollen forehead, bruised shoulders and arms, and cut cheek.
Police were not called to the incident and the Three Lions ace did not report it.
There is no suggestion that South African-born defender Ntlhe, 25, was involved in the attack.
A source told The Sun on Sunday: “Danny had been celebrating a friend’s birthday and by his own admission got incredibly drunk.
“He knows he has let himself down big time. He was extremely drunk and to be honest doesn’t remember much of the incident. His mate had to fill him in the next day.
“Danny repeatedly tried to chat up a stunning girl in the club and wouldn’t leave her alone.
“He tried it on a few times before she told him to shut up by saying she was there with her boyfriend. He confronted Danny in the club, and punches were thrown.
“Both men were kicked out, and whilst Danny was outside things turned really ugly.
“Some other lads really started on him. After a series of verbal exchanges they knocked him to the ground. He was then hit with an object about the face and body. They were raining blows on him and jumping on his ankle.