Kevin Prince Boateng

8 of the Strangest Transfers in Football History

After Kevin-Prince Boateng joined Barcelona on loan from Sassuolo last week, many football fans were left scratching their heads.


The former Portsmouth midfielder has had an unsettled career, playing for nine clubs in total, but a move to Camp Nou surely has to be a personal highlight.


With that said, Boateng isn't the only player to have signed for a team well above his expectations. Let's take a look at eight of the strangest deals in football history. 

8. Bebe - Vitoria de Guimaraes to Manchester United (£7m)

Little was know about Bebe when he arrived at Old Trafford except his age (20) and that he was a Portugal Under-21 international. 


Bebe started well, scoring on his first starts in the League Cup and Champions League, but things went downhill from then on as he was sent on several loan spells. 


Despite his loans, Bebe still played enough games to qualify for a Premier League winners medal in 2011 when the Red Devils won the title.


United finally cut their losses on Bebe in 2014, and Sir Alex Ferguson later admitted he never saw him play in the flesh before the club signed him.

7. Thomas Gravesen - Everton to Real Madrid (£2.5m)

Real Madrid were still in the 'Galactico' era in 2005 so this signing took everybody by surprise.

Gravesen lined up alongside Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Robinho and Ronaldo at the Bernabeu, a far contrast from sharing the pitch with his previous colleagues Lee Carlsey and Tony Hibbert at Everton.


During his time at Goodison Park, Gravesen was known as a 'destroyer',  but that style wasn't accepted by the Madridistas. 


Gravesen played under three different managers during his spell in Madrid, and had a training ground fight with Robinho. 


After the bust up with the Brazilian, Madrid's manager Fabio Capello said the Dane was 'a little particular.'


He added: "His behaviour is like this, everything has to be like he wants it to be done."


Gravesen left Madrid after one season and signed for Celtic.
 

6. Andy Carroll - Newcastle United to Liverpool (£35m)

In the middle of the 2011 January transfer window Liverpool decided to sell Fernando Torres to Chelsea for £50m, and immediately found themselves scrambling to find a replacement.


Newcastle striker Andy Carroll was that man and signed for the Reds in a then record deal for a British player.


Signing with a slight injury, Carroll did not make his Liverpool debut until March but did score his first goal a month later against Manchester City. 


In his second season, Carroll won the League Cup as Liverpool beat Cardiff at Wembley Stadium.


However, more injuries would come for the big forward, and Carroll would eventually move to West Ham, initially on loan in 2012, before the Hammers took up the option to buy Carroll and Liverpool accepted a £20m loss on the Geordie. During his time at Anfield, he scored six goals in 44 matches. 

5. Sol Campbell - Portsmouth to Notts County (Free)

Just a year before this sensational move, Sol Campbell won the FA Cup with Portsmouth and was only 34-years-old.


Campbell was persuaded to join the Magpies by his former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, who was a director at the club, and signed a five-year deal with the League Two side. 


The two time Premier League winner made his debut against Morecambe in a losing effort, and left the club three days later. 


Campbell's contract was cancelled by mutual consent and he returned to Arsenal in January 2010. 

4. Steven Caulker - Queens Park Rangers to Liverpool (Loan)

At 25, Caulker had already played for six different clubs but his nomadic career took a surprising turn when he arrived at Anfield after being deemed not good enough for QPR. 


A defender by trade, Jurgen Klopp decided to use Caulker as an auxiliary striker, usually when Liverpool were chasing a goal in injury time. 


Caulker did help Liverpool win at Norwich City, he caused mayhem as Adam Lallana scored the decisive goal in the classic 5-4 encounter, but that was his only notable contribution at the club.


After his loan ended, Caulker was released by QPR but has since played for Dundee United and Turkish side Alanyaspor. 

3. Edgar Davids to Barnet (Player/Manager)

Technically this was not a transfer as Davids was a free agent after leaving Crystal Palace two years earlier, but this deal was too bizarre to leave off this list. 


Davids, who played for Ajax, AC Milan, Juventus and Barcelona during his career, turned up at Barnet in League Two determined to prove he could still cut it at the age of 38. 


On his debut, Davids captained the team to a 4-0 win against Northampton but he couldn't save them from relegation out of the Football League. 


The former Netherlands international left Barnet in 2014, however he left a lasting impression at the club. 


He once sent the Barnet coach back to pick up 36 fans who's vehicle had broken down on the motorway and he also wore the number '1' shirt that was normally reserved for goalkeepers. 

2. Julien Faubert - West Ham United to Real Madrid (Loan)

The French winger joined West Ham for £6m in July 2007 but didn't make his league debut until January 2008 due to an ruptured achilles tendon. 


After hardly featuring for the Hammers, Real Madrid remarkably agreed a £1.5m loan fee to bring Faubert to the Santiago Bernabeu. 


Unsurprisingly Faubert flopped in the Spanish capital. He played two games and was filmed sleeping on the bench during Madrid's game against Villarreal.   


When asked about dozing off on the Madrid bench, Faubert claimed he didn't but closed his eyes because 'he was bored'.


Madrid did not take up their option to buy Faubert and he returned to West Ham. 

1. Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez - Corinthians to West Ham United (Undisclosed – August 2006)

Eyebrows were raised when the Argentinian duo arrived from Corinthians to join West Ham, who were in the relegation zone, in 2006.


Kia Joorabchian, the agent who represented both players, tried to offer the duo to other clubs in the Premier League but had no takers due to concerns over third party ownership. 


This situation became one of the most controversial incidents in Premier League history when Carlos Tevez scored the goal that kept the Hammers in the division at the expense of Sheffield United


After a complaint from the Blades it was revealed West Ham had broken league rules relating to third party ownership, and they were find a record £5.5m by the Football Association. 


Both players left Upton Park after that controversial season - Tevez signed for Manchester United on a two year loan deal and Javier Mascherano joined Liverpool.