At least Juande Ramos saw sense. Jermaine Pennant has revealed that he almost made a stunning move to Real Madrid, only for then manager Juande Ramos to pull the plug on the transfer.
The move almost materialised in January 2009, at a time when the winger was rotting on the Liverpool bench. Pennant made 81 appearances for Liverpool after signing for the club in 2006, including a starting position in the 2007 Champions League final.
The former Birmingham City player fell out of favour during the first half of the 2008/09 season, and was seeking a move away from Anfield during the winter transfer window. While he would eventually move to Portsmouth on loan during this period, things could have been very different.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, he revealed how the bizarre transfer move almost came about.
Real Madrid wanted to sign me when [the former Spurs manager] Juande Ramos, was in charge there. The board wanted to do the deal as they wanted a right-winger.
On transfer deadline day I got a call from my agent, saying, ‘You could be going to Madrid – keep your phone on.’ But the board had gone over the manager’s head, so he started to get upset, and to placate him they pulled the plug on the deal. The club wanted me; the manager didn’t.
This was probably the only good decision Juande Ramos made during his ill-fated tenure at Real Madrid. Can you imagine Pennant donning the famous all-white strip of Los Blancos? Me neither.
To be fair, this was a strange period in Real Madrid's history. The club were going through a lean period, and were not the superpower on the European stage that they are currently, failing to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for four years on the spin.
The squad had a clear gap at right midfield, and funds were not available to make a splashy signing mid-season. In that context, the move for Pennant makes some sense.
Madrid actually ended up making an even more bizarre signing, with Julien Faubert coming in on loan from West Ham. He played 54 minutes for the club.
As for Pennant, he would eventually get his move to Spain with Real Zaragoza that very summer.
You have to wonder: if Pennant did make the move to Madrid, would we have been robbed of his magnificent Jeremy Kyle appearance?