A staunch Newcastle United fan playing for fierce rivals Sunderland? It's not like it's never happened before. Jack Colback, Michael Chopra and Lee Clark are three of the most notable to have put their Magpies allegiances to one side, while Chris Waddle did it the other way around.
But could Andy Carroll's name soon be added to the list? According to the Telegraph, West Ham United will listen to offers for the 27-year-old in January and only a fool would write off Sunderland's chances of signing him. The Sun reported this weekend that Black Cats boss David Moyes is keen to add a target man in the New Year, with Stoke City's Peter Crouch a priority target. And Carroll certainly fits that mould.
When fit, the six-foot-three Geordie is one of the best around and, at eight years Crouch's junior, is arguably a better signing long-term. The trouble is, with his contract running until 2019 and a couple of clubs in China's Super League willing to pay £20 million for his services according to the Sun, Sunderland would be taking a huge risk given their current league position. A loan move - for now at least - is surely not out of the question, however, were West Ham willing to entertain it.
Sunderland's Stadium of Light ground
But would Carroll really do the dirty on his beloved Newcastle? Under normal circumstances, perhaps not. But let's not forget the incident earlier this month, in which the nine-cap England international was forced to flee gun-wielding attempted robbers. It would certainly make sense if a return to his native North East - regardless of club - was suddenly appealing to Carroll and his young family.
Keep Sunderland up and Carroll's footballing past might soon be forgotten.