The 7 craziest transfers ever as Premier League clubs conduct summer business

Whilst not every new signing blossoms into a club legend or is even a successful new addition to a club, it is very rare that a signing goes horribly wrong or comes completely put of left-field.

However, they have been known to happen in the past, whether it is European giants signing Premier League also-rans or George Weah's 'cousin' turning up for a trial at St. Mary's.

Here is a list of seven of the most bizarre transfers in football history, including Roberto Mancini, Steven Caulker up front and an Argentinian double act arriving at Alan Pardew's West Ham United.

Roberto Mancini to Leicester City

Former Italy international Roberto Mancini was 36-years-old when he signed for Peter Taylor's Foxes in January 2001 having been without a club for six months since leaving Lazio.

He was unable to last the full 90 minutes on his debut for the club and made a total of just three appearances before announcing his retirement from football 27 days after arriving at Filbert Street.

Mancini would return to the league as a manager with Manchester City in 2009 and led the club to their maiden Premier League title in 2012.

Julien Faubert to Real Madrid

Eyebrows were certainly raised when French right-back Julien Faubert made a loan switch to Spanish giants Real Madrid from mid-table West Ham United in January 2009 for a fee of £1.35million.

What followed was just two appearances for Los Blancos as Faubert completed a total of just 54 minutes of football for the club.

His highlights in Spain included being pictured falling asleep on the bench during a match against Villarreal as Paul Merson announced that "his agent should be knighted by the Queen" for arranging the move.

Steven Caulker to Liverpool

During Jurgen Klopp's first transfer window as Liverpool manager in January 2016, the German made two signings with the latter being the loan capture of defender Steven Caulker from Championship side Queen's Park Rangers.

The fact that Caulker's loan spell at Southampton had recently been cancelled prematurely was not the most eye-raising thing about this transfer, as Klopp proceeded to use the former England international as an emergency striker.

Caulker made just four appearances for the Reds before returning to Loftus Road at the end of the season.

Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez to West Ham United

Argentine duo Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez arrived at Upton Park out of the blue in the summer of 2006 in what appeared to be real coup of a signing.

However, it turned out that banned third party ownership rights were in affect by those involved with the transfer and their arrival was mired in controversy.

The Hammers were fined £5.5million and Mascherano left for Liverpool after six months and seven appearances, Tevez lasted a whole season before heading to Manchester United with his seven goals and five assists proving instrumental in keeping the Hammers up that season.

Bebe to Manchester United

Widely regarded for his shrewd judgement in the transfer market, Sir Alex Ferguson made one of very few mistakes during his time at Manchester United with the acquisition of Portuguese winger Bebe from Vitoria Guimaraes for £8million in 2010.

Bebe had been homeless for a period in his youth and arrived at Old Trafford before Ferguson had even seen him play live.

Whilst he scored twice in his seven United appearances, Bebe was ultimately shipped out on loan three times before being sold to Benfica for less than £3million in 2014.

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Ali Dia to Southampton

Saving perhaps the best until last, the story of Ali Dia is an infamous tale that sounds too outrageous to possibly be true, but back in 1996, he successfully managed to convince Southampton boss Graeme Sounness that he was the cousin of Ballon d'Or winner George Weah.

Following a training session and with Southampton struggling with injuries, Dia signed a month deal with the club and was named as a substitute for their league match against Leeds United.

Having come off the bench, Dia was hooked shortly after as it became apparent the Southampton management staff had been duped by Dia.

After having his contract terminated after just 14 days, Dia holds an iconic place in Premier League history, and was described Saints legend Matt Le Tissier as running "around the pitch like Bambi on ice; it was very embarrassing to watch."

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