In some revealing quotes in the Guardian, Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck has lifted the lid on his "unhappiest season" and heavily implied that he's ready to leave Old Trafford if he's not going to play regularly under Louis van Gaal. Here are some of the most interesting things Longsight's finest had to say:
It had been his "unhappiest season, without a doubt" and the player is concerned it will continue that way when Van Gaal takes charge after the World Cup. "I'd like to play centrally," he said. "I've been playing on the left for a while and it's got to the time when I want to stake a place up front."
We love you, Danny, but you and I know that's not going to happen.
"It depends what formation we are playing. On the left of a four-man midfield there are a lot more defensive duties so you can't find the time to keep attacking. But if you're on the left of a 4-3-3, I find that position really good. I can play in any formation but, if I play on the left, I'd rather play there if there are three in midfield."
Now that's rather more interesting. van Gaal's penchant for the 4-3-3 is well noted, and he likes his wingers to be quick and direct. Welbeck, on paper, at least, seems to fit the bill better than both Shinji Kagawa and Juan Mata. What he lacks in the technical skill, he makes up for with his directness.
Welbeck said he had become particularly unhappy over the last season - "I'd rather not think about it," he replied, when asked to elaborate - and is known to be one of the players who found it difficult accepting David Moyes' style of management.
"I wouldn't say I play better for England but my goals-per-game ratio is definitely better," he continued. "Formation-wise, I'm much freer up front because, when I play on the left for England, with three in midfield and three up front, there is more defensive cover rather than me being that defensive cover ... Maybe I'm let off the leash a bit more for England than United."
If we let you off the leash will you run away to Spurs?
Asked directly whether he could clarify that he still wanted to leave, he replied: "I'd rather not answer that question."