Manchester United's Wayne Rooney would consider a move abroad if the transfer to Chelsea which he cherishes falls flat.
Chelsea are likely to come in with a third bid, after United's flat rejection on Sunday of the offer of £25m plus extras, with a bid of closer to £40m possibly too good to resist given that the player is so transparently desperate to leave.
But the Rooney camp are aware that a move to the west London club is by no means a foregone conclusion, with the Premier League champions presently insisting that Rooney is their player, and their new manager, David Moyes, likely to be deeply unhappy about the idea of him signing for prospective domestic title challengers.
Rooney's options may be sorely limited if the Chelsea move does not materialise. Though Paris Saint-Germain were initially interested, the club never believed that United would sell to potential Champions League challengers and they have since moved for Napoli's Edinson Cavani.
The PSG manager, Laurent Blanc, has now said that they have no need to move for the 27-year-old Rooney. Monaco, the other free-spending French side, have Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez. No Spanish side is likely to pay the required wages or transfer fee either, while Bayern Munich have made it clear that they will not spend again after securing Jan Kirchhoff, Mario Götze and Thiago Alcantara.
Rooney, who missed United's friendly in Stockholm with a minor shoulder injury, must now wait to see whether Moyes forces him to play in either Rio Ferdinand's testimonial match on Friday or, more likely, Sunday's Community Shield encounter with Wigan Athletic, and thus face the music from fans who are largely unimpressed with his desire to leave.
It is understood that if asked to play on Sunday, Rooney will comply. A formal transfer request from the player is still expected, though it is unclear when that may be tabled by Rooney, who trained at Carrington today.
Ray Wilkins, the former Chelsea assistant manager, said the striker would be taking a step down by joining his own former club. The former United player Paul Ince said he should make his intentions public.