The January transfer window is often characterised by some of the strangest moves English football has ever seen: Andy Carroll to Liverpool, Julien Faubert to Real Madrid, Steven Fletcher to Marseille, Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to West Ham.
Another to add to that list is a move that should be completed today. Ross Barkley is set to join Chelsea for £15 million. It's not strange that Chelsea would want Barkley, but the fact that the move is happening now is deeply, deeply weird.
Barkley has been resolute in his desire to leave Everton since the summer, with both Chelsea and Spurs reportedly jostling for his signature. On deadline day in the Summer, it appeared that Barkley had picked Chelsea. The Blues had agreed a £30 million fee with the, er, other Blues, and Barkley headed south for a medical.
Then, at the eleventh hour, Barkley reportedly reneged on the move during his medical. Everton's owner Farhid Moshiri phoned up Jim White on Sky Sports News to say that Barkley had pulled out of the move during his medical. That was disputed by Barkley himself, who clarified matters on social media.
Contrary to a number of reports in the press, I did not undertake a medical with any club at any point. I simply decided that due to my injury, it would be best to make a decision on my future and assess all my options in January when fully fit.
Thanks for all of the support.
It had also been rumoured that Barkley had reneged on the deal as he preferred a move to Tottenham. Today, however, Barkley is back at Chelsea to finalise a move to Stamford Bridge. According to reports, Spurs were unwilling to part with any cash for a player entering the final few months of his contract. And thus it has worked out terribly for Everton.
Having assumed they were getting £35 million for Barkley, they then had to pay an injured player his £40,000-a-week wages...and then take less than half the transfer fee they had agreed on back in August.
Chelsea meanwhile, are trying to fill the void left by their Captain, Leader, Legend by signing as many English players as possible. First Danny Drinkwater, now Barkley, who next? Andy Caroll. Oh wait, really? Yep, really.