Police have dispersed angry Manchester United fans who were besieging the house of club superstar Wayne Rooney reportedly in protest at his decision to quit.
Officers were called out late Thursday after a mob of up to 30 supporters descended on the star's seven-million-dollar mansion in Prestbury, close to Manchester.
It came shortly after a crisis meeting at the club failed to resolve the future of Rooney, whose decision to walk away from Manchester United after six years has sent shockwaves through the world of English football.
Fans have been incensed by the news, and reports that the striker could be snapped up by local arch rivals Manchester City have only added to their sense of betrayal.
The balaclava-clad fans arrived at Rooney's house --which he shares with his wife Coleen and son Kai -- in a convoy of cars and repeatedly buzzed on his intercom, reported Britain's Sun newspaper.
They warned the striker not to sign for Man City before police arrived and threatened to arrest them unless they dispersed, said the paper. Six security guards reportedly came to stand watch at the house after the incident.
A local police spokesman told AFP that at 8:30 pm (1930 GMT) "a call was received from a resident in Prestbury regarding 20 to 30 people assembling outside their address. "Police attended the scene and the group dispersed peacefully. No offences were committed."
Earlier Thursday, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson held talks with the club's chief executive David Gill and Rooney's representatives but the club said afterwards there were "no developments" and asked fans to remain patient.
On Wednesday, Rooney said he was leaving because he believed United were no longer able to match his ambition by being able to compete in the transfer market for the world's best players.
Rooney's comments appeared to slam shut any chance of the striker being able to settle his differences with the club after Ferguson said on Tuesday the door was still open to a solution.
A furious Ferguson had reacted on Wednesday by telling reporters following United's 1-0 Champions League victory over Bursaspor that the club had called a meeting in order to "put the issue to bed". But the club did not release any further details on why Thursday's talks had failed to resolve the issue.
Ferguson has not speculated on what course of action he may take but it seems likely that Rooney has played his last game in a United shirt and that the club will seek to sell him as soon as the January transfer window opens.