For most Manchester United fans, David Moyes' mission should he choose to accept it will be to retain the services of Wayne Rooney, but in the last few days that task looks like a scenario for Tom Cruise and his Mission Impossible sidekicks.
The constant stalling of a deal and the reluctance for Moyes to answer the simple question .... "Has Wayne Rooney, categorically told you that he wishes to stay at Manchester United?" Will have no doubt irked many of the Old Trafford faithful, and sadly I like many others must accept that he is off to pastures new, probably, certainly, unequivocally to Chelsea.
We all know about the high profile fall out between the pair whilst they were at Everton, and we also know about a dispute which reared its ugly head from the pages of Rooney's autobiography, although we are told that is all cleared up... I'm not so sure.
I mentioned to somebody today in the wake of the Luis Suarez case, if a player wants to leave them let him, get the cash, of which the reported £30m seems pretty fair for a player with two years left on a contract and isn't your first choice striker, and buy big!
The dilemma with Moyes seems to be that the longer he stalls the more likely he is to have a player who's not interested in playing and is still with the club on the first of September, more importantly, there is no 'big' money to spend.
There is also a feeling that Moyes is being played by other managers, they know he needs to add to his squad to realistically retain the title and that his hands are tied by Ferguson's knot, they are, in other words, not willing to sell to him unless he breaks the bank.
The part where I sympathise with Moyes is that the over inflation of player prices is now beyond crazy, look at Bale, if he goes to Real Madrid for £85m on a 5-year-deal, is it worth is, the answer is no, because the scrap value of the added silverware he may bring to the club and the cash that comes with first prize will not recoup that money, ever.
The same rule applies for an apparent £24m of Marouane Fellaini, his effect may please fans, but sadly accountants will be breaking calculators at a rapid rate.
Come to think of it....... Rooney's not worth it either.
image: © Audrey Pilato