The butt of the Jason Steele joke - Brighton and Hove Albion.
Seemingly the Premier League outfit have taken leave of their senses, and are tonight said to be offering actual money for Sunderland goalkeeper Jason Steele. And it's not just a few quid. Chris Hughton's side are rumoured to be willing to pay the Black Cats £1.5m to secure the services of one of the worst stoppers ever seen on Wearside.
How on earth does something like this happen? Snap their hands off for sure, but it feels somehow cruel to allow the Seaguls to do this to themselves. Seemingly they arrived at the Stadium of Light recently, intent on securing midfielder Paddy McNair, but once a deal for the Northern Ireland international broke down, our southern chums decided to stay a while and see what else they could splash their cash on. But Jason Steele - really?
The 27-year-old former Middlesbrough 'keeper is fresh from enduring a terrible season at the Stadium of Light. Many Sunderland fans still recoil in horror at the memory of the first time they saw the 'marquee' summer-of-2017 signing. Arriving for half-a-million pounds - and representing around a third of Simon Grayson's transfer budget last year - Steele first showed us "what he can do" when he took to the pitch against Celtic in that awful pre-season friendly. And he promply let in five goals without getting near a single one.
Steele continued to alarm those of a nervous disposition as he began the campaign at his new club and his Sunderland charge sheet is a long one. As Blackburn fans rejoiced at seeing the confidence-shorn blonde depart, the Newton Aycliffe lad had managed to go viral on social media for his hilarious charge out of the box at Ipswich in September as Grayson's side let in another five.
Humiliated at Portman Road that night, the Black Cats 'keeper was said to be close to tears in the dressing room, but it wouldn't be the only time Steele was supposedly on the verge of a breakdown in response to his calamitous performances. After being dropped for several months as first Simon Grayson and then Chris Coleman didn't dare risk letting him back in the team, Steele earned a run-out in the FA Cup at Middlesbrough in January only to once again leave the field of play with tears streaming his face as he flapped back at his old club and embarassed himself on Teesside.
Admittedly only the second worst goalkeeper seen at the Stadium of Light last season, Steele was trumped by January arrival Lee Camp who quickly set about trying to restore his teammate's self-worth by ensuring he would be the one forever recalled as the most inept stopper ever seen at Sunderland.
Many Sunderland fans smirked in January when Steele set off to join Derby County - before the Rams changed their mind when he was half-way down the M1 - but the head-shaking has reached new proportions at the prospect that he could actually play in the Premier League next season.