The moment a superstar gets dropped from the team, the transfer rumours tentacles take hold, linking the player with every possible side, be it credible or plain ridiculous. With Wayne Rooney finding himself out of favour at Manchester United at the moment, injury or no injury, reports have suggested a move away could be possible, but the manager Jose Mourinho has insisted no such possibility exists.
Rooney was dropped by Mourinho for a more balanced midfield and a different No.10 option, and with Zlatan Ibrahimovic continuing to be preferred as the No.9, the Manchester United captain has been consigned to the bench.
The England international has also missed the last couple of matches through injury, further giving a chance for the transfer rumours specialists to write about his future, with the likes of LA Galaxy and Inter Milan linked, while a lucrative switch to China has also been mooted.
Mourinho, though, has no doubts over where Rooney's immediate future lies. "I know he's the type of player I need and I know he can play at the top level," Mourinho said of the forward, who just turned 31. "I can't make this kind of mental exercise and say what's going to happen at 32, 33, 34 or 35.
"What I can say is that he's a very good player, a very important player for us. He's going nowhere. We like him, he likes us. He's not happy in the last matches because he was on the bench but I think he is even unhappier when he's not on the bench because he's been injured and has to stay in the stands. There are no problems at all."
Manchester United, as a team, however, do have problems, with the club in desperate need of all three points when they host Burnley on Saturday. Having suffered a scathing 4-0 defeat to Chelsea in their last Premier League match, the pressure is on Mourinho to turn things around, and while the victory over Manchester City in the EFL Cup will give the team some confidence, they will also know this is a different competition.
United currently lie seventh with 14 points from nine matches, six behind leaders Manchester City and Arsenal. Five of the top seven play on Saturday, so there could be movement at the top of the table and Manchester United will not want to be the ones who have thrown away the possibility of inching ever closer to their rivals.