10 most baffling transfers in history with Newcastle set to splash £20m on Wood

When Newcastle were taken over by a mega-rich Saudi-led consortium back in October, one question was on the lips of all football fans: which superstars would they sign in January?

Could they seal an audacious move for Lionel Messi? How about bringing Kylian Mbappe to St. James' Park? It's fair to say few would have expected Burnley's Chris Wood to be high up on the transfer wishlist.

However, that's proven to be the case as the New Zealand forward nears his move to the Magpies in a whopping £20million deal from their relegation rivals.

While Wood's arrival will provide Newcastle with a proven Premier League goalscorer up top, the Toon aren't exactly curating the team of star-studded superstars that fans had in mind.

As the 30-year-old's transfer edges towards completion, Daily Star Sport takes a closer look at some of football's other most baffling transfers.

What is the most baffling transfer in football history? Let us know in the comments section

Julian Faubert (Real Madrid)

The footballing world were perhaps left most perplexed when West Ham flop Julian Faubert sealed the most surprising of loan moves to Real Madrid.

The French full-back only managed 52 minutes over two appearances in the Spanish capital and needless to say, Los Blancos weren't impressed enough to make his loan deal permanent.

Perhaps the most shocked of all football fans was Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson who, when informed by Jeff Stelling that Faubert would become the latest Galactico, memorably responded with: “Who’s his agent? He should be knighted by the queen!”

Jonathan Woodgate (Real Madrid)

While Real Madrid are historically synonymous with boasting the game's biggest stars, they have picked up their fair share of flops over the years.

Alongside Faubert on the list is that of the injury-prone Jonathan Woodgate, who stunned the world when he swapped Newcastle for the sunny climes of Spain back in 2004 for a fee of £13.4 million.

In keeping with his unfortunate reputation, the centre-back arrived injured and spent the entirety of his first season in Madrid on the sidelines as a result.

Woodgate's long-awaited debut took a disastrous turn as an own goal was then compounded by a sending off, with further injuries seeing him muster a mere 14 appearances in Madrid before Middlesbrough came to his rescue.

Thomas Gravesen (Real Madrid)

Having carved out a steady if not unspectacular career in the Premier League with Everton, it came as quite a shock to Thomas Gravesen – and the rest of the footballing world – when Real Madrid came calling back in January of 2005.

The Dane lasted a season and a half at the club, racking up 49 appearances, but 'Mad Dog' certainly left his mark in Madrid.

The bald-headed brute sparked a training ground scuffle after crunching Brazilian show-pony Robinho in training and once knocked out one of Ronaldo's teeth, albeit it accidentally.

Hatem Ben Arfa (PSG)

The enigmatic Hatem Ben Arfa lit up the Premier League at times during his spell with Newcastle but ultimately saw attitude problems prove his downfall.

After going AWOL during a loan spell with Hull, the flamboyant French winger returned to his homeland in January of 2015 with Nice, where his fine performances led to Ligue 1 moneybags Paris Saint-Germain taking him on 18 months later.

Ben Arfa started brightly, netting on his debut, but things soon turned sour and he left the club at the end of the 2017-18 season without having made a single appearance in that campaign.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (PSG and Bayern Munich)

Having failed to keep Stoke City in the Premier League, far-from-prolific forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting swapped the Potteries for Paris in a simply mind-boggling move back in August of 2018.

Despite playing alongside the likes of Neymar, Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria, the Cameroonian ultimately failed to lift his level, managing only nine goals in 51 appearances and famously recording one of the worst misses of all-time.

With first-team opportunities limited and the striker, unsurprisingly, finding himself low down in PSG's star-studded pecking order, Choupo-Moting then earned a move to none other than Bayern Munich. Bonkers.

Dale Jennings (Bayern Munich)

Bayern Munich had previous with obscure signings long before they picked up former Stoke flop Choupo-Moting, having poached little-known Dale Jennings from League One outfit Tranmere Rovers back in the summer of 2011.

The Scouser managed one goal in 36 outings for Bayern's reserves and never featured for the first-team as injury marred his time in Germany.

You're probably wondering where the former wonderkid is plying his trade now? In the Northern Premier League for Prescot Cables. It's not quite the bright lights of the Bundesliga, is it?

Steven Caulker (Liverpool)

It's difficult to say which is more baffling: the fact that Jurgen Klopp signed Steven Caulker on loan from QPR or the Liverpool gaffer's decision to use him as an auxiliary striker.

Having been recruited by the Anfield club for the second half of the 2015-16 season, the defender was desperately deployed as a makeshift forward during the dying minutes of a handful of matches.

If you thought that was odd, Caulker, who was once capped by England, has since carved out a commendable career in Turkish football and is currently representing Sierra Leone at the African Cup of Nations. Talk about maverick.

Joey Barton (Marseille)

It's easy to forget that Sergio Aguero's dramatic late winner against QPR which sealed Manchester City's maiden Premier League crown was in the same match in which Joey Barton infamously exploded.

The volatile midfielder punched, kicked and head-butted his way to a red card, a twelve-match ban and expulsion from the club before Marseille offered him an unlikely career lifeline.

Barton scored once in 33 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit with his time in the south of France best remembered for his hilarious accent and clashes with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Niklas Bendtner (Juventus)

Juventus really were scraping the barrel on deadline day of August 2012 as their frantic scramble for a centre forward saw them take a punt on Arsenal outcast Niklas Bendtner.

"Clearly he isn't the top player we wanted, but we needed reinforcements," disheartened Juve director Giuseppe “Beppe” Marotta told reporters days after Bendtner signed.

But could 'The Lord' prove his doubters wrong? In short, no.

Having failed to set the world alight while on loan at Sunderland the previous season, it didn't come as a surprise to see the Dane struggle in Serie A as injures limited him to 11 appearances, in which he failed to score a single goal.

Edgar Davids (Crystal Palace and Barnet)

Edgar Davids' glittering career didn't exactly get the fairytale ending it deserved.

Dutch legend spent time with Ajax, AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan and Barcelona during his illustrious career, before rocking up in south London with Crystal Palace on a pay-as-you-play deal shortly after a stint at Tottenham.

The goggled midfielder labelled his time with the Eagles as "one of the greatest experiences of my life" despite only making seven appearances before knocking it on the head. But Davids wasn't done.

The Champions League winner caused an even bigger stir in 2012 when he was announced as player manager for League Two Barnet.

Donning the No.1 shirt, Davids' overzealous approach saw him sent off three times in his first eight games of his second season with the Bees, before his 2014 resignation brought an end to one of the most bizarre link-ups in football history.

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