Wayne Rooney was always going to have an interesting summer.
The introduction of former Everton boss David Moyes as Manchester United's manager was going to cause a bit of awkwardness. A relationship that once broken so badly that it had to result to lawsuits has now been put on public display at Old Trafford.
However, if there was ever a time to fix this toxic partnership, this is it.
United is coming off of yet another title-winning campaign, but its competitors are closing in around them. Both Manchester City and Chelsea have strengthened their squad, while fourth-place finisher Arsenal seem poised to acquire the always explosive Luis Suarez, per the Daily Express.
Letting go of a player with the talent of Wayne Rooney would be Moyes' first mistake as United head man.
Rooney has been linked to just about everywhere this summer. He has been wanted by new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, perennial Champions League contender Arsenal, cash-loaded PSG, and Spanish powerhouses Real Madrid.
If playing time is Rooney's problem, a move to Madrid won't provide much solace. Rooney would most likely fall to the bench, as Madrid has an abundance of quality players that need time on the pitch.
United also could be looking to make room for the England international, as super-sub Chicharito may be on his way to Valencia, who is interested in a loan move for the Mexican striker.
There is also the the question of legacy. Rooney, who came up through Everton's academy, turned his back on his boyhood club with his big-money move to United back in 2004, despite his promise that he was "Once a Blue, Always a Blue". With his legacy left tarnished on Merseyside, leaving United would leave yet another question mark on Rooney's legacy.
Finally, there is the pride aspect. Rooney is 53 goals away from overtaking Sir Bobby Charlton to be United's all time leading goalscorer. Charlton, who is regarded as one of England's all-time greats, believes that Rooney should remain at United.
"I don’t like losing really good players and he is a really, really good player," said the current United ambassador Charlton, according to Express.co.uk. "I was hoping one day he might score as many goals as I had and that would have been really nice if it was at our club – and I’m still thinking that way.”
When Sir Bobby Charlton speaks, you have a duty to listen. If Wayne Rooney and Manchester United are to do what's best for both sides, expect to see Rooney in red for the foreseeable future.
Where do you see Wayne Rooney playing this season? Leave a comment below or tweet @R_tolmich for discussion!