Wayne Rooney is urged on a daily basis to stay at Manchester United. Former players, pundits and writers have openly spelt it out for the wantaway striker in black and white, only they overlook the shades of grey.
Rooney and United are not the heaven-made match they should have been. Sir Alex Ferguson's tinkering, Rooney's attitude and fitness have reduced him to a peripheral figure, and his immobility does not complement the starting XI well enough.
Ray Wilkins today said moving to Chelsea would be a "step down" for Rooney. It is a cliché trotted out on the rare occasion a player wants to leave United, only it is actually a myth.
Players have left the club and prospered. They may not boast a trophy haul to match the Reds', but they have enhanced their reputations and proved there can be an upside to leaving Britain's biggest club. Trophies can often signal glory by association, rather than underline a player's class. Just look at Paulo Ferreira.
Chelsea suit Rooney because they need a striker and Rooney needs Chelsea to resurrect him.
Here are five players who have flourished away from the Theatre of Dreams...
Prior to the 2006 Amsterdam Tournament, Sir Alex Ferguson came face-to-face with Stam for the first time since he controversially and bizarrely sold him five years previously. After defensive lapses in Ryan Giggs' testimonial against Celtic, the Charity Shield defeat to Liverpool and home win against Fulham, Stam was promptly dropped in August 2001 and never played for United again. Flogged to Lazio for £16.5 million, inexplicably, Ferguson brought in veteran Laurent Blanc as his replacement and United lost six league games before Christmas.
At that press conference in Amsterdam, the world's most intrepid interviewer asked Ferguson if he had made a mistake in selling Stam. "Maybe I did," he ruefully replied. It is the only mea culpa Ferguson has issued for his error.
Twenty-nine when he left the Premier League, Stam only won the Supercopa with Lazio and the KNVB Cup at Ajax in his post-Old Trafford career, and was part of the AC Milan side which left devastated by Liverpool in the 2005 Champions League final.
However, he remained one of European football's finest centre-backs until his 2007 retirement and would have complemented Rio Ferdinand superbly. The Dutchman's chant remains one of the most popular among United supporters.
After Newcastle bid for Rooney in August 2004, Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed before a Champions League qualifier United had also joined the bidding.
Rooney, who had requested to leave Everton, joined United on transfer deadline day at the age of 18, fresh from scoring four goals in as many games for England at Euro 2004.
His agent, Paul Stretford (left), was demonised by Everton fans.
Rooney and Ferguson celebrate their Player and Manager of the Month awards for February 2005 ahead of playing Fulham in March.
Ever the father-figure, Ferguson congratulates Rooney on a shift at Anfield in September 2005.
Rooney's performance away at Benfica in September 2006 proved to be a significant moment in the then 20-year-old's Manchester United career.
Ferguson hugs Rooney after he scored the winner at Goodison Park in April 2007. The 4-2 win effectively clinched United's first title in four years.
Rooney is withdrawn in the 2008 Champions League final. With Cristiano Ronaldo United's undisputed talisman, Rooney was often sacrificed and played on the wing.
Ronaldo's 2009 departure saw Rooney regain the talismanic mantle, however. He scored 34 goals in the 2009-10 campaign and his injury away at Bayern Munich in March was critical as United lost out on the Premier League title by a point. Here, Ferguson congratulates the striker on a two-goal display in the 4-0 Champions League win against AC Milan.
Rooney is presented with the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award ahead of the August 2010 win against West Ham. Despite scoring a penalty, his body language is telling...
In the week reports of his adultery hit the headlines, Ferguson withdrew Rooney from the matchday squad at former club Everton, concerned about the reception he would receive. Two years earlier, Rooney was substituted at Goodison after becoming too wound up by the home fans.
Rooney is substituted at Bolton in September 2010 as his form in the six months since the injury in Munich continues to nosedive.
Rooney is on the bench for the October 2010 game against West Brom amid speculation he has handed in a transfer request.
Days later he is injured in training after a reckless Paul Scholes tackle...
And Ferguson finally confirms the striker wants to leave United.
Only Rooney does a U-turn and inks a new five-year contract. His weekly wage is reportedly between £250,000 and £300,000.
Rooney goes some way to repairing his relationship with United by scoring the penalty which secures the club's 19th title at Blackburn in April 2011
On Ferguson's 70th birthday in 2011, Rooney is omitted from the squad for United's New Year's Eve loss to Blackburn after going out drinking with Darron Gibson and Jonny Evans. He is fined by the manager.
The duo enjoy a lighter moment on a private jet en route to the Ballon d'Or awards in Zurich, January 2012
Ferguson and Rooney wait to address the press in Amsterdam, February 2012. A picture paints a thousand words...
Robin van Persie's arrival puts Rooney in the shade again, and he is sacrificed at Aston Villa as United go in search of a winner, November 2012.
The beginning of the end: Rooney is dropped for United's biggest game of the season in their Champions League return leg against Real Madrid.
Rooney is brought on but misses a presentable chance as United bow out of Europe.
Rooney is withdrawn after 71 minutes following a poor display at West Ham, and Ferguson lauds Shinji Kagawa's progress, suggesting he may have to rotate the Japanese along with Rooney.
Rooney is substituted a week later on the night United regain their title against Aston Villa. He reportedly doesn't acknowledge Ferguson.
Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League
Wayne Rooney chases Howard Webb claiming he was fouled prior to Chelsea scoring the winning goal in United's 1-0 May loss at Old Trafford. It could be the last time he plays in the red shirt.
Rooney drives into United's Carrington training base amid reports he has handed in a second transfer request in three seasons.
Rooney is dropped for Ferguson's final match at Old Trafford and the Scot confirms the player, who has won five titles, two League Cups, a European Cup and a Club World Cup, wants to leave.
Rooney departed United's pre-season tour last week and has almost certainly played his final game for the club.
Had Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlán in the current climate, he would almost certainly have loaned him to another club in order for the Uruguayan to adapt to European football. Aged 21 when he arrived at Old Trafford, Forlán was too young and inexperienced to complement Ruud van Nistelrooy, who regularly benefitted from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's selflessness and his selfishness.
Signed from Independiente for £6.9 million in January 2002, Forlán took 26 games to score his first United goal and nine months to break his duck in the Premier League.
A tireless trier, he did however earn a cult status for scoring a match-winning double at Liverpool in December 2002. "He came from Uruguay, he made the Scousers cry," the Stretford End hollered. Winners against Southampton and Chelsea, as well as a magnificent volley versus Rangers, enhanced the affection, but Forlán's finishing was occasionally calamitous and costly.
He was jettisoned after two-and-a-half-years to Villarreal, where he won the Pichichi trophy for the top scorer in Spain, a feat he repeated with Atlético Madrid in 2008-09. The following campaign, he scored the winner for Atléti in their Europa League final triumph over Fulham, overshadowing strike partner Sergio Agüero.
At the 2010 World Cup, Forlán seemed to be the only player capable of mastering the infamous Jabulani match ball. Joint-top scorer with six goals, the talismanic Uruguayan led his team to the semi-finals and received the Golden Ball for best player at the finals.
Though Forlán's trophy cabinet is sparse post-United, he has thrived and gained international acclaim.
Rossi, now 26, has not lifted any silverware away from Old Trafford but has established himself as an Italian international and succeeded in both the Primera Liga with, like Forlán, Villarreal and Serie A with Parma. This summer, he joined Fiorentina's upcoming squad.
The New Jersey-born striker was mistakenly sent out on loan for the 2006-07 season - shortly after Ruud van Nistelrooy had left United for Real Madrid. Glenn Roeder hardly played him at Newcastle despite a paucity of striking options, and by the time Rossi returned to United a year later Carlos Tévez was en route to complement Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.
The Spaniard made just 23 appearances in three full seasons at United, which made it impossible for Ferguson to reject Barcelona's generous £7m offer for a player they lost to the Reds in 2004.
Piqué, 21 when he departed M16, has literally won everything with club and country since he returned to Spain five years ago and is regarded as one of the best defensive distributors. And his girlfriend is Shakira.
Like Forlán, Piqué was perhaps too young to blossom at United and was later unable to break the formidable Rio Ferdinand-Nemanja Vidić axis, but he was underplayed, and the dithering John O'Shea was afforded more chances in defence.
Ferguson lost Tévez through no fault of his own and, retrospectively, was probably glad to be rid of a player Gary Neville said had decided "to toss it off a bit in training" during his second undistinguished campaign with the Reds.
However, that "t**t from Argentina" did win more trophies at City and was a more potent striker than the impact player who was a huge fans' favourite at United. He won FA Cup and Premier League winners' medals with the Citizens before joining Juventus last month.