With former Kop Idol Michael Owen making the treacherous journey across the Pennines to Manchester United, human Boglin Carlos Tevez making an even shorter trip across the road to Manchester City and big Sol Campbell finally walking back into the Arsenal dressing room 4 years after he’d walked out of it at half time (though to be fair to him, they did moved stadiums in the mean time so he may have gotten confused), footballs ability to write it’s own daft and improbable scripts has been healthy again this year. So with this in mind, keep an eye out for these hugely unlikely, but still quite possible switiches in the near to not so near future. Feel free to add your own
David Beckham to Manchester United
would be a popular move for most United fans, and for one in particular especially. Walking pants mannequin Becks has made no secret of his desire to play for his beloved boyhood club again and were he ever given the chance he’d probably be so over come with emotion he wouldn’t be able to pout for a good 10 minutes or so. Though his professionalism would still probably win through in the end, he wasn’t the face of Police sunglasses for nothing. Despite his eagerness though, given how unceremoniously he was booted out of Old Trafford (literal pun intended) in 2003, any reunion with Sir Alex Ferguson outside of some nice and smiley training ground visits seems distinctly unlikely. However with Fergie and Becks career end dates likely to be a close run thing, and the ever increasing demand for Armani pants meaning he’s unlikely to undergo a fat Ronaldo-esque decline in fitness, the chances of Goldenballs making his dream move a reality in his twilight years may not be as far fetched as some might think.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City
City love nothing better than getting one over their perennially more successful neighbors. If the capture of Carloz Tevez inspired the rather crass erection of a billboard, the coup of signing United’s former talismanic Ballon D’or winner would require the construction of an entire model city by the side of the M6 complete with a welcoming committee of 50 Ronaldo look-a-likes employed solely to flag down all motorists and inform them they are “confidence they will very enjoy their experience in Manchester.” If City were to qualify for the Champions League in the coming seasons their own burgeoning galactico project would start to hit its stride. With Madrid’s complete and utter disregard for the any kind of defensive players, or managers for that matter, unlikely to see them build a lasting base for success, Ronaldos dream desire to stay may start to wane. When he first started angling for a move after the winking fiasco of 2006, he didn’t seem too bothered about going to either Barcelona or Madrid. It was only later that he seemed to acquire a Freudian knack of interpreting his dreams clearly. He has claimed in the papers that he’d never go to City, but he also claimed he would stay at United this season. And when City start flapping their wads around, who knows what’ll happen?
Wayne Rooney to Everton
Once a blue always a blue. Erm, well apparently. Rooney, like Beckham, has made no secret that he’s still a fan of his boyhood club. Unlike Beckham however, his fellow fans are unlikely to welcome him back with open arms. Bitter with the way he left, the Everton faithful have never hidden their displeasure upon his return visits, and in retaliation Rooney has committed the cardinal sin of badge kissing. It seems wildly unlikely that Rooney will leave United any time soon, so central is he to their plans, but with his physical age probably further north of his actual age than his IQ is, the likelihood that he may be surpluss to requirements at Old Trafford by his 30s doesn’t seem too preposterous. And by then Everton fans feelings may have thawed. More likely though, they wont have, but depending on their situation, the return of a prodigal son, and one of national treasure status, is something most football fans can’t resist. Some romantic platitudes from Wayne (I know, I know, but bare with me here) about how he “never truly left them really”, or something akin to that but with more “erms” init, could help to smooth his return. It could be epic. Keegan back to Newcastle epic. On the other hand it could also be disastrous. Keegan back to Newcastle disastrous.
Jose Mourinho to Manchester United.
Of all the ones on this list, this is the least unlikely (or, in other words, the most likely) by some distance. In fact many fans and pundits think it’s a distinct possibility already. Jose could just as easily return to Chelsea, but with his bust up with Abramovich still relatively fresh and his own personal penchant for rising to new challenges, it seems more likely he’ll opt to prove himself at a few more clubs first. There’s little doubt he wants to manage in La Liga at some point, but the prospect of following Ferguson in the United hot seat could prove too hard to resist for a man with the biggest ego and the nicest coat in top flight football. In fact he’s probably the only person with an ego big enough to carry it off. Regardless of what you feel about Mourhino personally, there’s no doubting he’s a colorful character, and with the United job after Fergie likely to be the most daunting in British football history, he’s only one of a handful who could step up to the plate with no qualms about it. Whether his football suits United would be irrelevant to a beleaguered board, under pressure to maintain success after the departure of their most trophy laden manager. Of all the foes Jose made in England, and across Europe for that matter, in his time at Chelsea, he was always very careful to show the utmost respect to Ferguson and United. The fans would quickly warm to him too, he’s a populist manager, all fist pumping, chin slapping and touchline dashing. It would be a fit made in commercial heaven, and even if he struggled, he’d be able to keep his players and his fans onside for longer than most. Chelsea fans wouldn’t like it one bit though.
Fat Ronaldo to Middlesbrough.
Of all the ones on this list, this is the least likely, but hear me out on this one. I’ve constantly been baffled by the ability of Middlesbrough to attract big name players. Juninho, Ravanelli, Emerson, Mendieta, Gazza (semi-mad at this point admittedly), Viduka, and Paul Ince have all played for the ‘Boro relatively near the peak of their careers. This is a club who had, prior to 2004, won nothing ever, at all, in their entire history. A club whose stadium is never full, ever, at all, unless they play Newcastle or Man Utd, and who are based in a town that was voted the worst place to like in the UK for 3 years running by Location, Location, Location. Yet somehow they’ve managed to attract a veritable stellar cast of former players when compared to other mid level clubs in industrial towns with little or no glamorous history. The story goes that Juninho was so amazed by the sight of snow on his arrival, that he fell in love with the town and the club instantly. If true, it is possible other Brazilians can be fooled by this rather trivially mundane thing also. We’re having a cracking winter snow wise this year as it happens!. Ronaldo De Lima seems happy back in Brazil, but with the World Cup in the summer, and the lingering embarrassment over that weird transvestite fiasco, he may fancy the peaceful quiet retreat of the Riverside on a Saturday afternoon. He could get into shape again by testing himself against the might of Plymouth Argyle, get away from the temptations of modern celebrity by having absolutely nothing to do, and settle down with that blonde girl with the big teeth that used to present Children’s TV and who now seems to be the sole famous representative of Middlesbrough now that Paul Daniels has at last successfully made himself disappear. At least their kids would have strong teeth, and that’s always a plus.