As soon as it was announced that David Moyes would take over the reins from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United the first hurdle of his tenure was set up: what would he do with Wayne Rooney?
The Rooney situation had been brewing at United for some time as the Scouser grew so frustrated at his changing role in the team since the arrival of Robin van Persie that Ferguson was moved to announce publicly that the striker had asked for a move from the club.
The club have since made a move to kiss and make up with the £300,000 a week man by accepting that he never asked for any such move and he is thought to be willing to use Moyes’ appointment to start a new lease of life at the club.
The 27 year old will meet with the manager who gave him his start at Everton back in 2002 this week with the message that he wants to stay at the Premier League champions and will reiterate that he at no time wanted to leave the club last year despite his frustrations.
Moyes has no desire to sell the England international but the player will still have to win over a section of the United support who feel his frustration turned to unprofessionalism and disrespect towards the end of last season, but the club may issue an official clarification of events that will do some of the work on that front.
A club spokesperson has already sternly declared that “Wayne Rooney is not for sale” despite interest from Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain for the player’s signature so it is down to Moyes to tie down the striker before the transfer window opens to end any speculation.
If Moyes does as expected and starts his era at United with Rooney in his plans the man from Liverpool can consider himself lucky that his final blow out with Sir Alex came when it did as he had used up his second chance with the manager in 2010 when he agitated for a move from the club before performing a U-turn to sign until 2015.
His new manager has also had to bury a hatchet with the player over allegations in his book ended up in legal proceeding so Rooney may do well to tread softly around Moyes should he go through another uneven spell at United while the former Everton manager finds his feet.
The situation is likely to be wrapped up and nicely presented for the time being as neither side will want to spurn the chance to put their best foot forward going into a new era but if past transgression are anything to go by it may not be plain sailing for too long and with little credit left in the bank from supporters and the wider football world Rooney looks more likely to be the one to come out on the losing end.