The Daily Mail have got it into their heads that Wayne Rooney is actually going to turn the decision about his future into a game show.
The organ reports this morning that the striker will elect to stay at Manchester United provided he gets a warm welcome from the club's fans during the remaining pre-season friendlies, presumably after equipping Old Trafford with an Acme Clapometer. It's unadulterated codswallop, readers, and you all know it. But still, let's play along and try to figure out what other entertaining methods Rooney might avail of to guide his career. Will he, for instance, commit his future to Old Trafford on the condition that David Moyes introduces a system whereby players have to press a buzzer before calling for a pass, with the one with the fastest finger getting the ball? Will he demand that the opposing goalkeeper be removed to a soundproof booth while Rooney and his team-mates decide what to do at free-kicks? And if he resolves to leave United, will he choose his next club in the manner of Cilla Black, getting José Mourinho, Arsène Wenger and any other suitors to sit behind a screen and take turns delivering innuendo-filled answers to questions such as: "If I were not in prime shape, how would you ensure I was still a round peg in your team's hole?"
Mind you, the Daily Star carry a clue this morning as to another reason why Rooney may want to hang around Manchester: his old chum Cristiano Ronaldo is on the brink of returning to United for £80m! That's a Star world exclusive, folks, at least it was until the Mill parroted it here. So you see, while all you chumps thought United's lack of interesting transfer activity so far this summer was down to the sluggishness of the new regime, we are now being told that they've secretly been laying the foundations for a sensational coup.
Mind you, never a day goes by without us being promised that some sensational coup or other is afoot so don't get your hopes up, eh. But do keep reading the Mill. It's important. And free.
As for Rooney, United fans may want him to stay at their club, especially if Javier Hernández goes to Valencia, who are seeking a replacement for Roberto Soldado and have yet to make their minds up over the little pea, the little good (Helder Postiga) and the long streak of misery (Fernando Torres).
Tottenham Hotspur are already looking at ways to spend the Gareth Bale lottery money, with Steaua Bucharest centre-back Vlad Chiriches expected to be the first of several recruits (and also expected to feature in multiple articles over the coming season under headlines such as "Vlad to meet you", "The Vlad done good" and, after those occasions when he is considered to have sought the ball in a style faintly evocative of the foraging habits of a medium-sized African antelope, "Vlad the impala".)
Let's stay in London for a moment, at least until the government sends around a truck telling us to sod off. West Ham want to buy Werder Bremen striker Marko Arnautovic and Malmo winger Jiloan Hamad. And Arsenal, many people suspect, don't really want to sign anyone. One of their supposed targets, Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Rui Patrício, is poised to join Monaco.
Everton fancy a loan move for Juventus midfielder Luca Marrone and are also duelling with Liverpool for the services of Granada's Brazilian defender Guilherme Siqueira.
Finally, Trabzonspor reckon they can convince Papa Demba Cissé to join them for four years or however long his deeply held conviction lasts.