In a shocking turn of events, Mamelodi Sundowns and their head coach Rhulani Mokwena have reportedly parted ways following a strained working relationship with the club’s Sporting Director Flemming Berg.

According to the report by Skepe Matsebani, a number of sources from Masandawana have confirmed that Mokwena has left the club and the news was announced by President Tlhopie Motsepe.

Mokwena was highly conspicuous in his absence at the first two days of Sundowns’ pre-season training sessions – a perhaps clear indication he will not be carrying on at the club.

This, despite the 37-year-old tactician leading Downs to their sixth and seventh DStv Premiership titles, setting a new 16-team points record of 73 last campaign, reaching successive Caf Champions League semifinals and beating Wydad Casablanca to win the inaugural African Football League (AFL) last campaign.

It is also surprising considering he signed a new four-year contract last June to remain at Chloorkop. However, it appears the reason for his apparently imminent departure is the strained relations between him, and sporting director Flemming Berg.

The two have clashed over transfers, training techniques, the inclusion of young players, and the future direction of the club, while Mokwena was allegedly irate over the exits of midfielder Bongani Zungu and forward Thabiso Kutumela allegedly behind his back.

Mokwena had said after Downs were dumped out of last season’s CAF Champions League semifinals by Esperance.

“My intentions are to be here, to stay and do my best every day to try to deliver the Champions League,” the coach said then. “But football is business and results-orientated and I don’t make those decisions about which coach stays and which coach goes.”

Mokwena, along with his assistants Michael Loftman and Sinethemba Badela, did not attend the team’s initial training session at Chloorkop on Tuesday. Instead, senior coach Manqoba Mngqithi and goalkeeper coach Wendell Robinson addressed the players before they commenced training.

It is believed that Mngqithi will be interim boss until a new coach is appointed.