With the line fast approaching for the 2014/15 season, thoughts inevitably turn to a summer of transfer activity and the latest rumour off the rank is sure to raise a few eyebrows.
Champions League holders and La Liga chasers Real Madrid are thought to be eyeing a left-field swoop for Chelsea’s fringe midfielder John Obi Mikel.
Coming towards the end of his ninth season as a Blue, Mikel has racked up an impressive total of 334 Chelsea appearances.
However, thanks to the resigning of Serbian enforcer Nemanja Matic last summer, who operates in his preferred defensive-midfield slot, Mikel’s opportunities have been more scant than ever this term.
Whether or not the Nigeria international is blessed with the requisite quality to improve Los Blancos’ star-studded stocks is pretty questionable, but then he wouldn’t be the first Bernabeu import to induce some head-scratching.
Here are five more from the recent past:
Jonathan Woodgate: (Newcastle) 2005 – £16m
‘Woody’ got sent off and scored an own goal on his debut and never recovered
Thomas Gravesen: (Everton) 2005 – £3m
Decent player at Goodison Park but underwhelmed at the Bernabeu
Royston Drenthe: (Feyenoord) 2008 – £12m
The madcap midfielder never lit the touch paper in Spain
Julien Faubert: (West Ham) 2000 – Loan
The right-back made two appearances in a Madrid shirt in an entire season
Lassana Diarra: (Portsmouth) 2009 – £17m
Pompey must have thought it was their lucky day when Diarra netted £17m
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