Zenit leading chase for Chelsea target Hulk after making £40m bid
Roberto Di Matteo is keen to add the Brazil international to his squad for the forthcoming Premier League season after losing Dider Drogba on a free transfer earlier this summer.
Owner Roman Abramovich is also an admirer of the powerful forward but his refusal to budge beyond his £30m valuation has scuppered any hopes of bringing him to Stamford Bridge.
The Champions League winners hoped that Hulk and his agent would force the Portuguese champions into lowering their demands and allow him to leave for a more reasonable price.
But Abramovich and Di Matteo will now have to look elsewhere in their search for attacking talent after Zenit’s bid blew them out of the water with the Russians prepared to throw Portugal central defender Bruno Alves to sweeten the deal.
The 26-year-old is thought to be keen on leaving the Estádio do Dragão although his agent Teodoro Fonseca revealed that a missing out on move to England won’t signify the end of the world for his client.
“Sometimes we want a player to continue, but the conditions do not allow it to happen.
“Who would not play in the Premier League, for Chelsea or one of the other big clubs?
“But sometimes clubs have to give up a right, a player or a person in order to keep the whole structure.
“People come and go and the clubs continue.”
Di Matteo is now expected to reignite his pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen frontman Andre Schurrle after being given permission from Abramovich to increase his offer for the German star to £25m.
The Chelsea chief saw an opening offer for Schurrle rejected by the Bundesliga giants but sees the 21-year-old as the ideal candidate to fire the club back into title contention next term.