The transfer window, like many aspects of today's soccer culture, captivates us with both the sublime and the ridiculous. Maybe it has something to do with January, a strange and reflective months by all accounts, with board members and managers casting off the cobwebs of the previous year with some ill-informed transfers. Followers of the English game will know that the 'silly season' is currently dominating the media rhetoric of the country. And it has done for some time.
The English press continue to delight in the cycle of mediocrity that last January brought to both Fernando Torres and the man who was helicoptered in to replace him, Andy Carroll. This cycle of rhetoric, from early teething problems, to fitness issues, moving onto internal strife and personal problems and now settled at just plain bad but with cause for hope in the absence of leading lights, has persisted since this time last year. A drop of closure then, you might think. No. Fear not, soccer loving friends, as the English press will soon strike upon a new transfer failing with all the readiness of Andy Carroll bearing down on a pint of finest ale.
Round the other side of the footballing world, though, where the media have yet to become enchanted with the progress of former January imports, the Russians have, this week, fallen hook, line and the proverbial sinker for a rather mysterious non-transfer. Or so, at the time of writing, it would seem. Manchester City fans will remember one Felipe Caicedo as the man who failed to penetrate the Hamburg defence in the now re-mastered UEFA Cup all those years ago, but to fans of his current haunts, Lokomotiv Moskva he is the powerful forward who has performed well since his move from Levante. Four goals in nine games, to get statistical about things.
You, as anyone without the preoccupation of something infinitely more well writed to read, can deduce that Caicedo has had a relatively pleasing first few months in the chilly Russian capital, if not the aforementioned sublime. Where the ridiculous side of our annual rumour-driven frenzy comes in, however, is this week's transfer rumour/story/fantasytale (delete as appropriate) surrounding a possible move from Lokomotiv to Brazilian Serie B side Boa Esporte.
Now, Boa Esporte, handily translating as 'Good Sports' from Portuguese to that there mother tongue of ours are a reasonably average second tier Brazilian side, with small financial might in the size of a bank sponsorship. So, with that bank sponsorship in mind, one might accept that they could afford a player of Caicedo's more than modest talents. But the real shock, as uncovered by Brazilian publication Globo Esporte, was the news that the Ecuadorian international had in fact agreed to sign on with Boa and was due to fly from his native capital of Quito to Minas Gerais yesterday (Wednesday) to seal the mysterious deal.
If journalists and commentators were surprised, fans of Lokomotiv were positively shocked that one of their foremost players would pack his bags and leave. Just months after joining! To Brazil!! To a second division side!!! Alas, the suspense and mind boggling anticipation of the move was unfounded and the move broke down this week. Olga Smorodskaya, Lokomotiv's president and resident iron lady dismissed the deal as 'nonsense' whilst the player himself is yet to comment. As the head still spins from the unravelling of this early window saga, more sinister thoughts turn to mind. Was the deal one great publicity stunt from those constrictors down at Boa and did Lokomotiv receive any 'bonus' from allowing the story to break and fuelling the publicity fire? It did, after all, take Smorodskaya days to deny the story, but maybe she was still recovering from a New Year's Eve spent eating Blini and drinking the Motherland's finest Vodka.
Either way, this transfer window has its first slip into the ridiculous and with Boa not likely to be 'Good Sports' again, we now need some of that sublime.