The annual footballers bug C Diffisule Flatteroidalitis has hit record levels this January transfer window. Numerous soccer players and an increasing number of their agents have been reported as suffering from the symptoms.
"Cases are definitely on the increase" said the FA medical officer Dr Mahtuma Mahhatma, yesterday.
"We've had quite a few high profile players involuntarily yelling the words 'I'm flattered' at the slightest hint of a top club being after them"
The agent of Middlesborough and England winger Stuart Downing was a particularly bad case. On national TV he said, "Stuart is extremely flattered to be linked with a move to Spurs. He really is flattered and although he loves his home club and in no sense actually wants a move he is really really flattered to have his name linked with a club that is so close to all the best clubs and shops and that. I mean really really flattered"