The saga surrounding Paul Pogba’s Manchester United future had felt a decidedly one-sided one.
Whether it was Mino Raiola announcing his Old Trafford career was “over” or the player himself talking up his “dream” move to Real Madrid.
Pogba’s recent performances have also strengthened his bargaining position, with the 27-year-old showing the kind of form everyone associated with the club has craved.
But the fact that it was a player who had the upper hand, marked a worrying development in United’s standing.
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That changed this week however, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sending a blunt, and pointed message to his midfield star.
"Paul was here as a kid in the under-18s, we signed him early on, he comes with the Man United DNA in him. He knows what we are about," said the United boss.
"Man United is about being in a team. I would not stand for anyone thinking he is bigger than Man United because no-one is. Absolutely no-one is and Paul knows this. It is not only Paul, it is for all of us."
Solskjaer may have ended his point by widening the aim, but it was clear who was the target of his words.
And it felt like a speech straight out of the Sir Alex Ferguson handbook.
The list of superstars that the legendary Scot decided to ship out from the club at their peak is a long one.
Ruud van Nistelrooy, Jaap Stam, Roy Keane and Carlos Tevez were all unceremoniously sold, when he felt they had become bigger than the club.
The most high-profile example of this, is of course, David Beckham’s shock departure, with Ferguson unwilling to put up with, what he felt, was an uncontrollable ego.
Should Man Utd sell Paul Pogba in the January window? Have your say here.
On that decision, Ferguson wrote in his 2013 autobiography: The minute a Man United player thought he was bigger than the manager, he had to go.
“David thought he was bigger than Alex Ferguson. You cannot have a player taking over the dressing room. That was the death knell for him."
Ferguson’s old assistant Carlos Queiroz recently backed up Ferguson’s mantra, revealing the best advice he got from his old boss was “that nothing and no one is above the team”.
It remains to be seen whether Solskjaer’s public word of warning will work with Pogba, but it feels as if Fergie’s motto has finally given United the initiative.
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