Christian Benteke has declared that he wishes to leave and has detached himself from his team-mates. Predictably. Again. For the second time in two years. At different clubs. In almost identical fashion.
Last summer, Benteke missed training with reports suggesting that he had gone on strike while at former club Genk. He had three years left on his contract, but did not wish to stay at a club who did not match his ambition. Who would, he reasoned?
Fast forward all of 11 months, and the Belgian - who has three years left on his deal at Aston Villa - is demanding to leave and has not gone on the Premier League club's pre-season tour because he wants to join a bigger club. Who wouldn't, he reasoned?
This is not a surprise. Nor will it be a surprise if he moves to Tottenham and, with three years left on his contract at White Hart Lane, decides that he would prefer to engineer - along with his trusty, caring representative, of course - a move to Real Madrid, all in the name of ambition.
Moving on another season, and an agitated Benteke slaps a partially-edited transfer request form on a mahogany desk in Madrid after deciding that he must leave the Spanish giants immediately because he is unhappy about not seeing enough first-team football and does not feel valued. Who would, he reasons?
This is football. Take a greedy, disingenuous agent (or posse of representatives, more likely) with an insatiable desire for money and Sunseeker yachts, combined with a brooding, confused, but ultimately laid-back 22-year-old footballer, and annual transfer requests are the likely result.
The outrage from the masses is always painfully predictable. Where is the man's loyalty? Does he not realise that poor Paul Lambert is building a long-term project? But Villa are - okay, used to be - a big club...
Let's just quickly address the oft-repeated questions outlined above: Benteke does not feel any loyalty, less still does his agent(s) sense that it may be in order; he does not realise, nor care, what Lambert is building with young players; he does not see Villa as a comparably big club after a season of fighting off relegation, often almost single-handedly.
So what do we take from this latest dose of devastating realism in following modern-day football? Yes, it does seem depressing. Initially. But not for long.
Talent will never be fairly distributed among the top-flight clubs, nor should it be, quite frankly. There are better clubs and there are poorer clubs, usually represented by the league table which, as we all know because we are repeatedly told, is always admirably honest.
Will the Wenger Cup be more exciting next season with Benteke understood to be on his way to Tottenham? Yes, probably. Do more neutrals care about the big clubs signing top players than whether lower-mid-table teams lose a key star? Yes, absolutely.
Benteke's conduct is not impeccably virtuous, but it is to be accepted. He is now correctly rated at around £25-30 million, and he has just spent an entire campaign hauling an ailing team up onto his back and running with the burden of the club's top-flight fortunes.
Villa will be fairly and handsomely remunerated for the loss of their star striker, and he will happily bolster the ranks of a high-flying side realistically targeting silverware and matching his, and his representatives', lofty ambitions.
What Benteke has done is not remotely curious. What is lamentable, however, is that his transfer request was devoid of any character - by all accounts it was thoroughly prosaic and dry.
At 22, he still has a lot to learn, as a few more experienced players can demonstrate by their comical, bizarre and genuinely unique approaches. Here are some of ED's favourites...
Grant Holt, at Norwich, takes the almost incomprehensible, pre-spell check, Twitter route, to the delight of many - "I have loved my 3 years at the club and it sadness me to right this but want use to here it from me first. #lovedmytime' ... Just to stop the rumour mill again. I have expressed to the board and the CEO that I want to leave the football club. Due to disagreements."
Steven Fletcher, at Wolves, famously loses his head and blames that for his scrambled, although factually correct, approach on Twitter - "Just handed in a transfer request just to let the fans know where I am at right now... #headsgone."
Then caretaker West Ham boss Trevor Brooking on Jermain Defoe's transfer request, handed in barely minutes after the club's relegation 10 years ago - "One week, two weeks, or whatever is one thing, perhaps, but less than 24 hours after relegation suggests to me poor advice for the lad, and I really don't understand the timing."
Before tweeting became the preferred medium for footballers to talk about changing clubs, there were shabbily-written, heavily-ghosted autobiographies, such as Ashley Cole's, in which he revealed what led him to leave Arsenal and join Chelsea - "When I heard the figure of £55k, I nearly swerved off the road. 'He is taking the piss!' I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn't believe what I'd heard."
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "My agent is in charge, he knows what I want. Now there are two or three options and the club knows. There are no (other) offers yet but Liverpool know exactly what is going on and what I want. It is good to know that I am still valued by teams like Arsenal. Friends call me up to ask if I am moving to Chelsea, to which I laugh. Don't believe everything you read or hear." - It must be really hard for Luis Suarez this summer, dealing so admirably with all the uncertainty surrounding his position at Liverpool. It's impossible not to have empathy with the misunderstood Uruguayan.
COMING UP: Jim White will be filing, while Eurobot will be rumourmongering. But before your daily dose of transfer news speculation, you can follow live coverage of the first day of the Ashes series between England and Australia at Trent Bridge. It will also be stage 11 of the Tour de France, so stay with us throughout the day for some top sporting action.