Every transfer window throws up a left-field surprise pairing of player and club that not even the thousands of gossip column inches come close to predicting.
Determining who that might be this summer is of course extremely difficult by its very nature but it is possible to narrow the parameters to the entirely feasible.
These five might not be dominating the headlines right now but it’s only a matter of time before we awake to a shock development that seemingly sprang from nowhere.
Gareth Bale to Manchester United
Make no mistake about it Manchester United are very much in the market for a marquee signing this summer, a blockbuster name to propel Mourinho’s tenure forward while reinvigorating the fans. Feeling strung along by Ronaldo’s personal politics and having missed out on Antione Griezmann the Premier League giants are currently – according to rumour at least – eyeing up a monster bid for Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski. Should that fail they might very conceivably revisit their serious interest in the Welsh wonder.
Jack Wilshere to Huddersfield Town
The midfielder’s gradual descent from prodigy to bit-part player has largely occurred due to a cruel run of injuries that has halted his progress at the Emirates. A mixed spell at Bournemouth last season on loan was supposed to be a period of rehabilitation but once again injury struck and with just a year remaining on his present contract the road back to Arsenal’s first team appears a distant one.
The Terriers are keen to strengthen key areas ahead of a challenging debut Premier League campaign while a midfield of Aaron Mooy and (a fit) Wilshere excites.
Perhaps the most important aspect to consider here is the player’s need to enjoy his football again. In the meantime he could pay Mystic Secrets a visit, with a bonus code available to boost playtime significantly.
Radja Nainggolan to Chelsea
The Blues’ interest in Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko is serious and long-standing but with figures presently varying between £35m and £50 it is fair to say there are still whole chapters to be written. Should frustration arise as the deadline approaches don’t be astonished if the reigning champions go all-out instead for Roma’s instrumental warrior Nainggolen. Antonio Conte remains a huge fan of the all-action midfielder and with the Italians concerned about complying with Financial Fair Play a big-money switch could yet be on the horizon.
Ben Gibson to West Ham
The England under-21 international made huge strides last term boosting his reputation considerably despite his side enduring the plight of relegation. Such is Gibson’s status as a composed and commanding centre-back it’s led to links to Arsenal and Chelsea (as a replacement for John Terry) in the recent past but Middlesbrough should most be worried about an approach from clubs one level below. West Ham are openly in the market for a defender and this one is 2 + 2 = 4.
Toby Alderweireld to Manchester City
An ongoing contract dispute and an affordable buy-out clause inevitably saw the talented Belgium linked with a host of clubs at the start of 2017. Those rumours have since faded away but with City’s search for a top-class centre-back stalling of late – with Van Dijk now off the table and Juventus playing hard-ball over Bonucci – it’s not beyond the possible that they might look to the capital for their solution.
With Kyle walker also on Guardiola’s wish-list might we see half of Spurs’ back-line in sky blue next year? Stranger things have happened.