The news today that Zenit St. Petersburg star striker Hulk could be on his way to Chelsea comes as no surprise to me having lost out on the chance to sign the man Roman Abramovich originally targeted Colombian striker Radamel Falcao.
The Atletico Madrid forward decided instead to join newly promoted French Ligue 1 side Monaco, who are spending like crazy so that they can compete with Paris Saint-Germain for next season’s French title.
It is not clear why Falcao would rather join a side that will only be competing in France next season rather than one that will be in the Champions League, yet Monaco’s tax status may have played a part as playing in the principality allows player to avoid taxes on their huge salaries.
Chelsea were interested in signing Hulk last season from
Porto but could not come to terms with Porto who were then asking £40 million for the striker, and lost out when Zenit St. Petersburg agreed to pay £50 million for the powerful Brazilian.
Hulks move to Zenit has not lived up to what Hulk or the club expected with Hulk being booed by the home fans, and having a falling out with Zenit’s Italian coach Luciano Spalletti. Add to this friction in the dressing room over the disparity between his wages and that of the other team’s players and you have a world-class striker looking for a new home.
Zenit are now thought to be ready to cut their losses and let Hulk leave for what they consider to be a reasonable offer which if you believe the report in today’s British tabloid the Daily Mirror is £35 million from Chelsea.
Chelsea’s new manager Jose Mourinho is known to be a big fan of Hulk who was originally supposed to be Didier Drogba’s replacement, and with talk that the Blue’s other target Napoli’s Edinson Cavani is being courted by Manchester City, Mourinho does not want to leave his side short of attacking options.