The 9 weirdest transfer rumours we've heard this summer

Hulk

You might not think anything can top the real-life Neymar to PSG move, but these reputable rumours were surely too outlandish to happen. Right?

Paulinho to Barcelona

Paulinho

Probably not the future of Barcelona's midfield

Now, Paulinho is undoubtedly talented - anyone who can clock more than 40 caps for Brazil has to be - but given his age and career trajectory in club football, this one is a head-scratcher. 

Paulinho is 29 and has played in Lithuania, Poland, Brazil, England (in a very disappointing spell with Spurs), and currently plies his trade in China with Guangzhou Evergrande. He’s not exactly the superstar calibre of player that Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez would be excited to play alongside.

Barcelona have their pick of the world’s finest midfielders (unless they're called Marco Verratti), so to choose Paulinho was hard to fathom. But they did, as confirmed by the player himself. "Since I received the offer from Barça I've not stopped thinking about it," he sobbed in July. And didn't get his way. 

Adama Traore to Chelsea

Adama Traore

Traore hasn't always started at Boro

Chelsea have the financial clout to compete with the world's biggest teams. They've spent £127m on Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata alone in this window so far, showing a real ambition to improve despite winning the 2016/17 Premier League at a canter. 

It seems odd, then, that they were genuinely linked with Middlesbrough's Adama Traore by the Evening Standard. The winger was well regarded coming through the youth ranks at Barcelona, but endured a disastrous spell at Aston Villa and then made little impact at his second relegated Premier League club, Boro. Needless to say, the Blues decided they'd be better off spending £20m on someone other than the inconsistent young Spaniard.

Phil Jagielka to Tottenham

Phil Jagielka

Yep, the Spurs link mystified us a bit too Jags

Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs have a very clear transfer strategy that involves signing young players and making the most of their potential. It would be a huge surprise to see the Lilywhites splash out on anyone over the age of 26, so to see them linked with Everton's soon-to-be 35-year-old centre-back Phil Jagielka was... different.

Spurs could do with some centre-back cover for Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, that much is fair: Kevin Wimmer looks shaky (and is potentially on his way out) and Cameron Carter-Vickers is still very young. But easing that problem by signing Phil Jagielka would be right up there with the 2012 capture of Ryan Nelsen in its weirdness.