Poor David De Gea. Aren't Manchester United such villains for doing all they can to keep their best goalkeeper, their standout performer of the last two seasons, one of their last Premier League title winners at the club? Isn't Louis Van Gaal such a bad man?
The common consensus seems to be that United are the ones in the wrong. How dare they allow Real Madrid to roll them over?
If the Spaniard's want their man, for a ridiculously low transfer fee, of course they should have him. No questions asked. If Florentino Perez wants something, the footballing world should step aside and let him take it.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
Yet not United. Criticised, mocked, but stubborn. United have done everything right about the De Gea saga, including dropping him from the starting XI for the Fabian Barthez-reincarnation that is Sergio Romero.
Real know how much it will take to land their man this summer. Penny-pinching means they will probably have to wait another year.
Article continues below
Van Gaal's guile
What makes Van Gaal the right man to lead United is he has the guts and guile that Sir Alex Ferguson possessed and David Moyes sorely lacked.
It speaks volumes that, even with Victor Valdes on the books, he is willing to place his faith in a goalkeeper that spent the majority of last season on the Sampdoria substitute bench.
Ferguson was a sentimental man, understanding when players would ask to leave in order to fulfil dreams or return home, but he always ensured he get a fair price in return.
When Cristiano Ronaldo came to him in the summer of 2008, he was told one more year's service would be enough for him to leave for Real the following year.
There were question marks over his state of mind whilst the lack of celebration each time he would put the ball in the back of the net usually sparked transfer talk into overdrive.
But he did his time and, after firing them to another league title and Champions League final, he was graciously allowed to head to the Santiago Bernabeu for £80million in 2009.
De Gea importance
De Gea's importance to the side is just the same. He may not be a 40-goal-a-season player like Ronaldo, but his stunning shot-stopping ability and matured overall game means United would most likely be in the Europa League this term without him.
Plenty of pundits have weighed into the ongoing saga by blasting United for allowing it all to rumble on for so long, but the club themselves have been extremely impressive in their handling of it all. Romero has three clean sheets from three league games and Van Gaal, notoriously difficult to journalists, has kept his cards close to his chest.
The Dutchman confirmed that the former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper had asked not to play - something the De Gea camp have strenuously denied - but to him the situation is simple. Unless Real come in with the necessary money, why should United buckle?
Madrid usually get their way in the end, as they did with Ronaldo, but Perez's refusal to meet United's valuation of their goalkeeper is baffling. They allowed Iker Casillas to leave to Porto with just Keylor Navas in reserve at the time, but their misreading of the situation is costing them dear.
United believe that, with just one year left on his contract, De Gea's price is set at around the £25m mark.
Considering the Spaniards have been more than happy to spend lavishly on attacking starlets over the years, the reason they haven't parted with the cash is bewildering to both sets of supporters.
If the 24-year-old wasn't entering the final year of his contract his worth would be around twice what it is now. Van Gaal's stubbornness means a free transfer next summer is almost inevitable, but if it means another year of consistent performances the Dutchman will not care.
United fans, what do you make of the De Gea saga? Should he be sold? Let us know in the comments box below.