Gabriel Heinze held face-to-face discussions with Sir Alex Ferguson for the first time today in a bid to resolve the row over his proposed move from Manchester United to Liverpool.
Heinze had pledged to report for duty as ordered by Ferguson and duly arrived at United's Carrington training complex this morning following a brief break after his Copa America campaign with Argentina.
Ferguson was eager to speak with Heinze to establish his intentions after blaming the 29-year-old's agent for talking up a move to Liverpool, something United are implacably opposed to.
It was expected Ferguson would re-state a position of which chief executive David Gill verbally advised Heinze's agent; namely United will not sell any of their players to a major domestic rival, even though Liverpool have matched the Red Devils' stated £6.8million asking price.
Heinze has appointed a legal team to assess the validity of the letter Gill signed confirming a figure that would trigger his release.
For their part, United insist the note does not over-ride Heinze's current contract, which still has two years to run. It is also thought Gill's verbal clause, which came before Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez made his interest known, was recorded.
Although it appears Heinze's position as a United player in now untenable, in theory at least the full-back could be asked to figure in one of two friendlies on Wednesday, at Dunfermline and Glentoran.
A more likely scenario would be for the player to remain in Manchester, while discussions continue over a resolution to the impasse, although, with United so steadfastly against letting Heinze become the first player to leave for Liverpool since Phil Chisnall in 1964, it is difficult to see much room for negotiation.