Ashley Cole to Manchester United.
Just consider that for a moment. It seems astonishingly unlikely, yet it becoming more and more realistic by the day.
A veteran of battles against the Red Devils with Arsenal and Chelsea through the years, Cole was even one of the chief suspects in the famous 2004 'pizza-gate', in which a slice was landed on Sir Alex Ferguson in a behind the scenes post-match spat- now infamous in football folklore.
Cole is still 31, and regarded as one of the world's best left-backs. His contract talks with Chelsea have broken down, and he will be a free agent next summer, able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement from January.
United were first linked with Cole in the summer, and it seemed pretty unlikely then.
When Red Devils defender Rio Ferdinand was charged and fined by the FA for branding Cole a 'choc-ice' - a racial slur, in the fallout of Cole's support of teammate John Terry, accused of racially abusing Rio's brother Anton, such a move appeared further away than ever.
Ferdinand has since become embroiled in a public row with his manager, over his refusal to wear a Kick It Out t-shirt, in protest at the handling of the Terry case.
The centre-back may have been the recipient of kind words from his boss yesterday, but you get the feeling the damage may have been done, after all not many players cross Fergie and survive at Old Trafford to tell the tale, especially those who are 33.
United's defence has been slack footed on a number of occasions over the past two seasons, and replacing Evra and Ferdinand is a long-term goal for the club.
Cole's availability will speed up Evra's departure, with Buttner also chomping at the bit. If Jones or Smalling can really step up this year, then moving on Ferdinand will not be a disaster for the club.
It is unlikely Cole and Ferdinand will be part of the same team again for club or country, but only if United move Ferdinand on, then will a move for Cole get the green light.
Cole in and Ferdinand out, could it happen? Could it be a good thing for United?
image: © Ben Sutherland