Salomon Rondon to Barcelona? A look at the best bizarre transfers

West Brom's Salomon Rondon scores their first goal

Salomon Rondon has been linked with a move to Barcelona.

West Brom's Salomon Rondon scores their first goalWest Brom's Salomon Rondon showing why Barcelona are interested

I know what you're thinking - the middle of August is an odd time to start coming up with April Fools.

This is not a drill.

The Mirror is reporting that Venezuelan striker Salomon Rondon is on Barcelona's wish list as they look to sign some strong back-up to first-choice strike force MSN.

In light of Rondon's possible move to Camp Nou, we thought we'd take a look at some of the most bizarre upscale transfers in history.

Tyrone Mears - Derby to Marseille

The English right-back had been on loan at Derby from West Ham when the deal was made permanent in July 2007.

In August 2008, Mears took the unusual move of flying out to Marseille for a trial with the club. Without telling Derby. Bold.

The plot thickened further when the Guardian reported that Mears had been forced to sneak into Derby's training ground through a back window to get his boots before jetting off for France.

The trial was successful, and Mears moved to Marseille on a season-long loan for a fee of £160,000.

He didn't make his debut until January, and eventually made a grand total of four league appearances for the club.

Marseille decided not to take up the option of a permanent deal for £1.5 million, and unsurprisingly he was swiftly sold upon his return to Derby.

After spells with Burnley and Bolton, he currently plays for Seattle Sounders in the MLS. 

Dale Jennings - Tranmere to Bayern Munich

The Liverpool-born winger had signed for Tranmere Rovers at the age of 15 when his hometown club released him.

He had made 29 league appearances for the club when, in July 2011, he surprisingly signed for Bayern Munich. 

The 18-year-old was attending training sessions alongside Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Philipp Lahm, and was thought of as a superior talent than a certain Emre Can.

Sadly Jennings' time in Germany didn't go to plan. Injuries, homesickness and an inability to pick up the language conspired to see the youngster sign for Barnsley after two seasons in Germany.

He had made no competitive appearances for the German giants, only representing Bayern Munich II. 

Jennings then spent time on loan at MK Dons - a move that was made permanent in June 2015 - but left the club midway through the 2015/16 season. He is currently working hard to find a new club.

Craig Davies - Oxford to Hellas Verona

The former Manchester City trainee was playing for Oxford United in League 2 when he signed for Serie B side Hellas Verona for £85,000.

Bolton's Craig DaviesDavies in the colours of Bolton

The BBC reported at the time that a motivating factor for Davies' move was his desire to prove that he could be the long-term replacement for John Hartson in the Wales national side.

Davies' five-year contract with the club proved to be wildly optimistic, with the striker leaving after just one appearance in a loan move to Wolves, before he moved permanently to Oldham at the end of the season.

Davies has since played for a succession of clubs in the football league, and currently plies his trade with Wigan Athletic.

Daniele Dichio - QPR to Sampdoria

London-born striker Dichio, born to an English mother and Italian father, was on the books of QPR when, after loan spells at Welling United and Barnet, he was sold to Sampdoria. 

Dichio had gone from playing in Division 3 to training with Jurgen Klinsmann.

During his year in Italy, Dichio made two appearances for Sampdoria and was quickly loaned out to Lecce, for whom he managed six games. 

His nightmare season was brought to an end when Sunderland signed him for £750,000, and he helped the Black Cats gain promotion to the Premier League for the 1999/2000 campaign.

After spells with various clubs in England, he ended his career with Toronto FC in 2009, though he immediately joined the coaching staff. 

Ronnie O'Brien - Middlesbrough to Juventus

Irish midfielder O'Brien had signed for Boro as an 18-year-old in 1997, but was subsequently released in 1999. 

In a move predicted by approximately nobody, Juventus came in and offered O'Brien a five-year contract, which he accepted. 

During a three-year spell at Juventus, O'Brien made as many league appearances for the Old Lady as I have. 

He fared little better on loan spells with Lugano, Crotone, Lecco and Dundee United, and in another move straight out of the O'Brien playbook he signed for FC Dallas in the MLS. 

He made well over 100 appearances in the MLS for Dallas, Toronto FC and San Jose Earthquakes, and was even selected in the MLS Best XI in 2004. 

He has since returned to FC Dallas as a youth team coach. 

Luther Blissett - Watford to AC Milan

For football fans of a certain generation, Luther Blissett was just the name of a random guy honoured on Soccer AM by having a stand named after him.

Little did they know that Blissett was a Jamaican striker and Watford stalwart who sealed a dream move to Italy with AC Milan. 

Such was the surprise caused by the move that people rather crudely speculated that Milan had intended to sign John Barnes and made a mistake.

Signed by the Italian giants for the then princely sum of £1 million, Blissett was unable to replicate the form which had seen him score 95 goals in 246 games for Watford. 

Unlike many of the other surprise signings, Blissett made plenty of appearances for AC but could only manage five goals. 

Suffering from buyer's remorse, Milan sold him back to Watford for half the price they had paid to bring Blissett to Italy. 

Blissett rediscovered his scoring boots first at Watford and then at Bournemouth, before returning to Watford yet again for a third and final time.

He ended his career in the lower leagues and retired in 1996 at the age of 38. Whilst he will always be known for his time at AC Milan, he should also be remembered for scoring a hat-trick on debut for England against Luxembourg in a 9-0 win. 

Steven Fletcher - Sunderland to Marseille

29-year-old Fletcher was midway through his fourth season with Sunderland when Marseille came calling and took him to France on a loan deal. 

The peculiarity of the deal was only exacerbated by the Marseille website's comment on Fletcher's signing.

It stated: “He will not leave you unmoved. He will not go unnoticed. Marseille has added a Scotsman to the mix. And if you know anything about the mentality of that people, you'll know that's good news. He may not be known as a technical player, but he is 1.85m tall.”

A glowing endorsement.

Former Marseille loanee Steven Fletcher in actionFletcher in action for Marseille

Fletcher made 12 appearances for the club as they fell from 9th to 16th in the table, eventually finishing 13th.

Upon his return to Sunderland, the Black Cats decided to let Fletcher go, and he was signed on a free transfer by Sheffield Wednesday this summer.

Jamie Stevenson - Alloa to Real Mallorca

Stevenson had started his career at Aberdeen but was released for being too small, and so he found himself playing for Alloa Athletic.

While on holiday in Majorca, he was spotted by a club scout having a kick-about on the sidelines of a five-a-side tournament. 

One successful trial later and Stevenson was the proud owner of a three-year contract with Real Mallorca.

Beset by homesickness and a complete lack of first-team opportunities, Mallorca reluctantly let Stevenson go under the proviso that he only return to Alloa, which he duly did after 18 months in Spain.

He has since become something of a Scottish league journeyman, and has played for Peterhead since 2014.

Julien Faubert - West Ham to Real Madrid

French winger Julien Faubert had signed for West Ham for £4.3 million in 2007 but found himself in and out of the first team.

West Ham United's Julien FaubertWe were shocked too, Julien

But the powers that be at the Bernabeu clearly saw something they liked as he got off the bench to keep warm and decided to sign Faubert on a six-month loan deal for a seven-figure fee in January 2009, along with an option to sign a three-year contract.

Two substitute appearances later and one of the most marvellously bizarre and anti-climactic spells of a footballer's career was over, the lowlight of which being when he was accused of falling asleep on the substitutes' bench. 

He returned to the Hammers and had his best season with the club, making 33 league appearances in the 2009/10 campaign. 

After spells in Turkey and France, Faubert turned out for Kilmarnock last season but was released from his contract at the end of the season.

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