Manchester United were maintaining a dignified silence on Wayne Rooney on Wednesday amid claims the striker wants to leave Old Trafford.
Rooney is said to be furious at the comments of manager David Moyes, who during an interview last week appeared to indicate he regarded the 27-year-old as back-up to last season's top scorer Robin van Persie.
Moyes, who is currently in Sydney for the side's clash with the A-League All Stars, is not thought to be happy about the situation, believing his comments have been taken out of context.
Nevertheless, he can hardly deny saying them nor dispute they have gone down incredibly badly with Rooney, whom sources told Press Association Sport is "angry and confused" about his treatment.
As far as the 27-year-old is concerned, he is at the peak of his career and has no intention of playing second fiddle to anyone, or being reduced to the rank of a squad player.
With four Premier League titles and a Champions League winner's medal to his name, Rooney does not believe he has anything to prove at United.
Yet he feels as though he has been put on trial by Moyes at a time when he should be concentrating his efforts on recovering from the hamstring injury that saw him sent home from United's pre-season tour within hours of landing in Thailand on Thursday.
The injury has also ruled Rooney out of Sunday's clash at a sold-out ANZ Stadium.
After months of speculation about his future, and no statement of intent to stay from the player, it is now clear that unless there is some major repair work undertaken, Rooney will be leaving.
The manner of United's response is the first major test for Moyes and chief executive Ed Woodward since they replaced Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill respectively at the beginning of the month.
It has not exactly been a brilliant 24 hours for the Red Devils, who were immediately rebuffed in their attempt to sign Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona.
United only lodged a STG26 million ($A42.92 million) bid for the former Arsenal captain on Monday afternoon.
Within 24 hours, Barca manager Tito Vilanova was claiming Fabregas had told him he wanted to stay at the Nou Camp.
"I'm aware there have been offers. I had a conversation with him and he told me that he wanted to continue here and that he didn't want to go to another big club," said Vilanova.
"He wants to succeed here."
However, United have not been put off, with the club privately aware Fabregas might well be receptive to the move, which would make him a central figure at Old Trafford.