No player is bigger than the club—not even Wayne Rooney.
The talented veteran forward has been integral to Manchester United for nearly the past decade. He has meant more to this club than words can describe.
But all good things must come to an end.
After his final match as manager, Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed on Sunday that Rooney—as has been recently speculated—has asked for a transfer out of Manchester. The club doesn't exactly seem so keen on granting his request, however (via FOX Sports):
"I don't think Wayne Rooney was keen to play, simply because he's asked for a transfer," Ferguson said. "But we won't sell him."
Unless the club changes its stance, this is going to get ugly.
Rooney reportedly asked for the transfer earlier this season before Ferguson announced his decision to step down. It's difficult to imagine the addition of David Moyes, whose past with Rooney at Everton is an ugly one, improving that situation.
Moreover, he's not exactly winning himself over with the United fans. After being dropped from the squad for Sunday's 2-1 win over Swansea, Rooney was "jeered and whistled by some supporters as he collected his Premier League winners' medal following the game."
This is the second time he has wanted out of Manchester.
The Red Devils' inclination to keep their star is certainly justified. Since his stunning debut hat-trick, Rooney has been the heart of Manchester United, riding his unparalleled strength, versatility and passion towards immense success.
Simply letting go of someone who has Rooney's combination of talent—at the prime age of 27, no less—and importance to the city is not an easy thing to do.
Nevertheless, he is unhappy, and there is very little reason for hope on the horizon. As time wears on and he continues to be thwarted of his request, relationships will only continue to deteriorate. He will turn into a distraction and the squad as a whole will be negatively affected.
Rooney is one of the best players in the world, but if he continues to sulk and ask for a way out, Manchester United must allow it—for the benefit of the team.