Sir Alex Ferguson has been set another of those managerial examinations he has proved so good at down the years as he tries to work out what to do with Wayne Rooney.
Although United's response to speculation that the 24-year-old striker was going to be sold in January was to label it "nonsense", it appears there is rather more substance to the stories than the Old Trafford faithful would want.
Rooney appeared to make a direct challenge to Ferguson's authority on Tuesday after England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro, when he went out of his way to contradict the Scot's claim that he has been suffering from an ankle injury.
And it had been reported that Red Devils officials have been informed Rooney will not sign a new contract following the breakdown in negotiations over a new one, to replace his existing deal, which is due to end in the summer of 2012.
It leaves Ferguson with a dilemma.
He does have the option of playing hardball with Rooney and keeping the former Everton star at Old Trafford, in the hope he changes his mind.
The alternative would be to sell, most likely in January as his value would plummet next summer when he would be six months away from being able to sign pre-contract agreements with clubs on the continent, and 12 months off leaving for nothing.