The heavy rain clouds at Carrington on Tuesday morning provided a fitting backdrop to Wayne Rooney's appearance at training for Manchester United.
Rooney has been the subject of intense speculation for 48 hours since news of his desire to leave the Red Devils first became a matter of public conjecture.
Since then it has been made apparent that Rooney will not sign a contract extension once his current one expires in 2012 and that Manchester City could be a destination for the striker, who celebrates his 25th birthday on Saturday.
Sir Alex Ferguson's press conference ahead of United's Champions League clash with Bursaspor, which is due to be held on Tuesday afternoon, is likely to offer the first public pronouncement on the situation.
In the meantime, Rooney went through his paces at Carrington wearing a black hat to keep his head dry but otherwise joining in as normal with the training ground banter that tends to mark such sessions.
Should United decide to sell, the list of clubs who could realistically afford Rooney is pretty short.
Barcelona are said to be trying to trim back their outgoings, while their bitter rivals Real Madrid invested heavily this summer. Italy is not exactly awash with money, whilst Bayern Munich spent considerable amounts last summer building a squad to suit Louis van Gaal, while in England, only Chelsea or City would stump up the wages required to secure the forward's services.
The mere mention of City's name will send a shudder through most United supporters, who acknowledge what a positive impact Carlos Tevez has had since his own move across town to Eastlands.
At a time when they appear vulnerable after registering five draws in their opening eight games, United would resist that move with vigour. Yet Rooney has apparently indicated a willingness to join the cash-rich Eastlands outfit, for whom money is no object.
Having stirred up a heap of controversy last season by declaring an interest in Liverpool's Fernando Torres and reaped the rewards of Tevez's motivation to wreak havoc on his old club, Blues boss Roberto Mancini is hardly likely to shy away from such a deal.
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