It's the rumour that stands to present every Manchester United fan with a nightmare that will deprive them of sleep until it's officially resolved: Robin van Persie handing in a transfer request at Manchester United.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not for one second affirming my position as an individual who believes the gossip that Van Persie is desperate to jump ship is true, nor am I of the opinion that he should look to leave. However I do find myself wondering if he could, in the near future.
United's problems since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement have been documented to the point where it's practically a chore to read through how David Moyes can't capture his transfer targets, or how they're now set for mid-table mediocrity because of their poor start to the season.
But while those routine headlines make for little more than fodder for a heated debate concerning whether or not the reigning Premier League champions have truly lost their midas touch, the loss of a player such as RVP would drive home the reckoning that they really are on the way down.
The Dutch star is integral not only due to his abilities but also because of his stellar reputation as one of the game's top players.
However those who are kidding themselves into thinking that he falls into the same bracket as the likes of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes in his unerring love of the club need to realise, before they're bitterly disappointed, that he doesn't.
Because in truth there's every possibility that Van Persie could leave Old Trafford this year if their current slump fails to be addressed.
At 30-years-old there is perhaps two top-flight season left in the former Gunner, and put frankly his trophy-less spell at the Emirates stadium will have done little to appease the longing for success that pushed him to United in the first-place.
Of course if the Red Devils can't promise him silverware or, dare I say it, Champions League football, then there really isn't anything that stands in their favour when the likes of Barcelona do come knocking.
Then of course there's the much fabled Fergie-factor. Try as you might it's hard to draw comparison between Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes past the fact that they both hail from the same country.
When Van Persie first joined United it was with the promise of being tutored by the most highly-respected manager on the planet. With respects to his successor, Moyes' appointment is one that promised long-term stability and a continuation of the frugal yet successful method of work that had become synonymous with the club; not immediate glory.
It may be a knife through the heart of every United fan, just as much as it could prove to be the straw that breaks the camel's back in terms of their demise from perennial champions to Champions League hopefuls, but unless things improve in the red half of Manchester it's almost impossible to imagine a scenario where the man who was United's monolith last campaign rejects the advances of the top clubs in Europe.
Ultimately, if a resonating sense of loyalty wasn't enough to keep him from trading in Arsenal for a more attractive employer, it sure as well won't be enough to keep him at Old Trafford.
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