Chelsea understudy to become latest wacky Real Madrid signing?

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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

WoodgateMadrid

‘Woody’ got sent off and scored an own goal on his debut and never recovered

Thomas Gravesen: (Everton) 2005 – £3m

GravesenMadrid

Decent player at Goodison Park but underwhelmed at the Bernabeu

Royston Drenthe: (Feyenoord) 2008 – £12m

DrentheMadrid

The madcap midfielder never lit the touch paper in Spain

Julien Faubert: (West Ham) 2000 – Loan

FaubertMadrid

The right-back made two appearances in a Madrid shirt in an entire season

Lassana Diarra: (Portsmouth) 2009 – £17m

Real Madrid's Lassana Diarra jumps for t

Pompey must have thought it was their lucky day when Diarra netted £17m

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.