With his mercurial reputation and bright red hair, Ryan Babel was certainly one of the most eye-catching transfers of the January window.
Arriving at Fulham from Turkish side Besiktas, the move felt like one last desperate throw of the dice for a side slowly succumbing to the quicksand pull of relegation back to the Championship.
Babel was supposed to come in, light some fires and get the Londoners rocking again.
But it hasn’t quite gone like that, despite his best efforts.
The Dutchman has put in an admirable effort at Craven Cottage to be fair to him, and for the second half of this season he has looked like Fulham’s best player, notching four goals, to his credit.
It is understandable, therefore, that now relegation has been confirmed, there is already talk of his departure.
Rumours are rumours, but it is another thing entirely for a manager to come out and hint at a player’s exit, as Scott Parker has today.
As quoted by Sky Sports News, he said: “He [Babel] has been fantastic for us, and his next move will depend on offers.
“I completely understand that and won’t be holding him back.”
And this could be brilliant news for Newcastle United. As reported by Football Insider, the Magpies are weighing up a move for the winger, who is available on a free transfer this summer.
With Kenedy coming to the end of his loan spell, and with other members of his squad failing to impress, it would make sense if Rafa Benitez went in for a player he has previously signed during his sting as Liverpool manager.
The fact that Parker appears consigned to losing his man, and the fact that the Toon Army have already been linked surely means that this is a story with legs, and if they are sharp, the Geordies could land themselves a real coup here.