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Sep 23, 2009

Top Ten: Shortest transfers ever

As Sol Campbell leaves Notts County after just one game, we look back at some of the shortest transfers in the top flight.

1. Dietmar Hamann. The German midfielder was snapped up by Sam Allardyce's Bolton in July 2006 on a free transfer. Big Sam claimed it was his ''best bit of business", but the player didn't think so as he moved on within 24 hours, to Manchester City.

2. Sol Campbell. The man of the moment signed a five-year deal with newly rich Notts County, at a cost of around £40,000 a week, but decided that the club's ambition was not good enough for him and promptly walked out of Meadow Lane after just one game. Still good enough to warrant a move to a Championship club, Campbell will now have to wait until January if he wants to move.

3. Hameur Bouazza. The former Fulham midfielder joined the rising star of Sivasspor in August 2009, but made just one appearance in the 3-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League before deciding he didn't fancy life in Turkey after all. Sivas lost five of their first six games in the league, but Bouazza wasn't around to notice as the club agreed to terminate his contract.

4. David Unsworth. The defender joined Aston Villa for £3 million from West Ham in 1998, but he didn't even get his studs dirty. Staying for a month, Everton picked him up for the same fee to come back to Goodison Park, with his tail between his legs.

5. Ali Dia. A famous story, as Graeme Souness was conned into believing that he had snapped up George Weah's 'cousin' following a glowing recommendation from the former AC Milan striker. Souness was tricked, and when the player replaced Matt Le Tissier he "ran around like Bambi on ice", was subbed after 20 minutes, and was never seen again in a Southampton shirt again.

6. Christian Vieri. A journeyman striker, the Italian has not stayed long at many of his clubs but his 35-day stint at Sampdoria was the worst. Following a move from Monaco in 2006, he left the club to rejoin Atalanta. Although didn't last much longer there either.

7. Clive Allen. Just a teenager, Arsenal spent £1.25 million on the QPR star in 1980, but he couldn't make the breakthrough and was swapped for Crystal Palace full-back Kenny Sansom just two months later.

8. Marco Boogers. Signing from Sparta Rotterdam for £800,000 in 1995, the West Ham player was sent off on his second appearance for a tackle on Gary Neville. Manager Harry Redknapp described him as ''a good player but a nutter'' and he was swiftly moved on.

9. Robert Jarni. Moving to Coventry in 1998, the Croatian cost £2.6 million, but made no appearances before being sold to Real Madrid days later for £3.35 million. Nice little profit, although his former club Real Betis were angry as they suspected foul play.

10. Robbie Keane. £20.3 million was enough to see Keane join Liverpool from Tottenham for his ''dream'' move. It took six months, but eventually the misfiring Irishman returned to Tottenham to reclaim the captaincy. Probably not the shortest, but perhaps the shortest in terms of value for money. Unless you count Andrei Shevchenko's few years at Chelsea of course.

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