As the football season draws near, Premiership teams have been frustrated in their efforts to sign top players. Scientists at Maastricht University think they may have the answer. Taking stem cells from 'two short planks' they have turned them into strips of dense muscle, which when inflated with vanity becomes a fully formed midfielder.
The cost implications for the transfer market are huge, as Managers will be able to assemble Champions League teams for the cost of a Happy Meal Deal. Previous attempts to create footballers from a combination of root-vegetables, tarmac and pubic hair resulted in a rather unsettling Wayne Rooney. It is hoped that this new technology will lead to an aesthetically pleasing Beckham-esque model. While the basic patty looks like an anaemic Robbie Savage; with added beetroot juice it has a Brazilian-lustre which substantially increases its value.
Ethical boundaries have now become blurred, with some football fans concerned that artificial strikers will lack the synonymous 'vacuous stare'. Professor Mark Post assured fans that just like 'normal' footballers the lab version will be unable to feel pain, count to seven or distinguish between date and rape. In a statement, animal welfare campaigners PETA said: 'Footballers are distant cousins of the homo sapien and should be considered sentient. It's important that they are kept in simple mansions, regularly coiffured and surrounded by primary colours.'
While the initial cost is £215,000 per player, Professor Post said that this was the financial equivalent of one of Cristiano Ronaldo's golden testicles. The Netherlands institute also hopes to use their patented technology to create lab grown boy bands, Reality TV stars and a Michael Gove flavoured Filet-O-Fish. Should the scheme prove successful Jose Mourinho has agreed to release John Terry back in to the wild, where he will be able roam free delighting players and wives with his notorious tackle.