Manchester United have upped the stakes in the fight to keep the unsettled Wayne Rooney by tweeting a picture of the striker over the legend "BACK, Stockholm, 6.8.13" to underline that he is not for sale.
The 27-year-old striker is recovering from a hamstring injury and has been pencilled in for a return on that date in a pre-season friendly against AIK despite him being intent on leaving the club, with Chelsea being his preferred destination.
In what is an unprecedented move for the champions, United appear to be taking the fight over Rooney's future to the London club, who had a £20m bid rejected for him last week.
José Mourinho has stated that the England forward is his key transfer target but with David Moyes, the manager, continuing to state Rooney is not for sale the Liverpudlian's next move would seem to be to lodge an official transfer request.
Given United's uncharacteristic use of social media that may not be enough for Old Trafford to yield to Rooney's demands. It may also be that the club to trying to ensure they maximise the fee if Rooney is sold.
Moyes, speaking after United's 3-2 defeat to Yokohama F-Marinos in Japan on Tuesday, said Rooney would play in the friendly in Stockholm. "Yes. He is coming on," the manager said. "He is doing light jogging now. The feedback I am getting from home is that he is progressing. We have said he is not for sale and that hasn't changed."
However Rooney's future unfolds, given the change at the club, with Moyes succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson, and Ed Woodward taking control of transfer strategy following David Gill's retirement, a new United is emerging.