Wayne Rooney is set to find out later today what price he must pay for his forthright attack on Manchester United’s recruitment policy.
On yet another staggering day at Old Trafford, which completely overshadowed the 1-0 Champions League win over Bursaspor, Rooney responded to Alex Ferguson’s claim he had no idea why the England striker wanted to leave the club by outlining it in the clearest terms.
Having informed chief executive David Gill in August of his concerns, Rooney continued to nurse doubts, all of which have now spilled into the open.
Ferguson and chief executive David Gill were vexed enough to arrange a meeting for this morning, of which the Glazer family have been informed.
“I have not read all the statement but we will consider it at a meeting at 10am,” said Ferguson.
“David has spoken to the owners tonight, which is important.
“It is really important for us to put it to bed. We don’t want it to become a saga.”
In his statement released on Wednesday evening, Rooney said: “It is absolutely true that my agent and I have had a number of meetings with the club about a new contract.
“During those meetings in August I asked for assurances about the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world.
“For me it’s all about winning trophies – as the club has always done under Sir Alex. Because of that I think the questions I was asking were justified.
“I met with David Gill last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad.
“I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.”
There will remain suspicions that Rooney has an ulterior motive, not least because he recently won three titles on the trot and played in two European Cup finals in what will go down as one of United’s golden periods.
It far outweighs the success close friend Steven Gerrard has had at Liverpool, yet he has always remained loyal to the Anfield cause.
If not quite as deep and personal as the ferocious attack that effectively marked the end of Roy Keane’s time at United in 2005, it is still a pretty devastating critique of the way the club is being run.
Ferguson’s frustration was clear after last night’s match at Old Trafford as he added: “I am manager of a club that is trying to win a game on Sunday against Stoke City. That is the most important thing. The rest is a bagatelle.”