Manchester United have maintained the same stance throughout the summer as the Wayne Rooney saga has dragged on. He's not for sale. With the new campaign underway and deadline day approaching, there's no turning back now for the defending champions.
Leading up to the season opener, David Moyes once again confirmed United's position. David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror passed along the new manager's comments, in which he makes it crystal clear nothing has changed.
Despite Rooney's determination to force his way out of United before the September 2 transfer deadline, Moyes is adamant the forward will be staying put
"There are no more developments and we don't want any more developments because we've told everybody - which I've said before - that he's not for sale," said Moyes.
Of course, Moyes' insistence hasn't stopped the ongoing speculation about where Rooney will be when the transfer window closes. McDonnell's Mirror colleague John Cross reports Arsenal are joining the chase with Chelsea in hope of landing the star forward.
United boss David Moyes is adamant that Rooney is not for sale.
But the striker remains unsettled and Arsenal are keen to see if a deal can be done.
Chelsea have already had bids turned down but Arsenal wonder whether United would prefer to sell to them—just a year after Robin van Persie went in the opposite direction.
Despite the continued interest, it's too late for United to change course now. They have fought during the window to ensure Rooney wouldn't join another club, especially a Premier League rival, and the point of no return has passed.
The situation would be different if United were able to land Cesc Fabregas or another attacking midfielder to bolster the lineup. Under that scenario, Moyes could have received more flexibility in terms of what to do with Rooney.
Since United haven't been able to secure a marquee signing, there's simply too much risk involved with moving Rooney and not having a replacement already on hand. And the transfer window doesn't have enough time left to guarantee they would be able to find one.
Even though Rooney didn't live up to his usual elite standards last season, he still accounted for 12 goals and 10 assists in Premier League play. Furthermore, he started to develop some chemistry with Robin van Persie in the latter stages of the campaign.
The best thing United can do now is keep Rooney in the fold and hope he accepts his role within the squad following the transfer deadline, when things should settle down. He's still a tremendous attacking asset when in top form.
What should United do with Rooney?
Moyes is under a lot of pressure to live up to the standards set by Sir Alex Ferguson. The legendary manager won the league title in his final season and now the new boss must find a way to repeat the Red Devils' success.
It's a task that becomes a lot tougher if Rooney leaves and he's not replaced. Finding more talent for the midfield has been an unfilled task by the club. It can't afford to take another step back at this stage.
United's decision might cause some rocky moments, particularly as the deadline approaches and a final decision must be made.
In the end, United have stood tall on Rooney the entire time and that shouldn't change in the last few weeks of the window.