Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admits he can't believe Wayne Rooney is refusing to sign a new contract. Ferguson is not the type to open his heart. Yet that is how it seemed as he tried to draw conclusions from the complete U-turn Rooney's career path has taken since he announced last spring his intention to remain with United for life.
The Scot's assessment did not make pretty reading for a player who celebrates his 25th birthday on Saturday and whose private life is mired in controversy amid lurid allegations that came to light in September.
"I was in the office on August 14 and (chief executive) David (Gill) phoned me," outlined Ferguson.
"He had got a phone call from his agent saying that he (Rooney) wasn't signing a contract.
"I couldn't believe it. I just was dumbfounded. I could not understand it because only months before he was saying he was at the greatest club in the world and he wanted to stay for life.
"We just don't know what's changed the boy's mind.
"The next step was going to be important, decisive for us.
"I then asked to have a meeting with the boy and he reiterated what his agent had said - he wanted to go.
"The one thing I said was 'Just remember one thing: respect this club. I don't want any nonsense from you. Respect the club'.
"I don't know if he's done that. I have got doubts on that because we're reading things about falling out with me and all that nonsense. It's disappointing because we have done everything we possibly can to help Wayne Rooney from the minute he's come to the club."