Having failed to tempt Radamel Falcao, Fernando Llorente, Edison Cavani and Neymar to join up with his project at Chelsea, returning manager Jose Mourinho will turn to his secondary list of targets to secure a marquee attacker this summer.
The club are still interested in taking Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski to Stamford Bridge but have yet to receive any encouragement from either party regarding a move so Chelsea will hope to secure the signing of Hulk, in the coming days before turning to Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke and Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic.
Zenit St Petersburg brought Hulk to Russia from Porto only last summer but the player has already begun angling for a move back to ont of Europe’s top leagues telling reporters, “those approaches do exist. There are clubs interested in me.
“But if I am to move, it has to be to a better place, with a better team in a better competition. I will be happy too if I stay. Zenit are a great club.”
It is known that Chelsea and London rivals Tottenham Hotspur approached the player’s agent while he was at Porto but neither could compete with Zenit’s contract and have retained ties with the striker’s representatives hoping that he would agitate for a move.
The 26 year old is contracted until the summer of 2017 after signing for £40million last summer but he has not enjoyed his time at the club so far.
In January he attempted to leave after falling out with manager Luciano Spaletti but was barred from doing so by FIFA rules regarding playing for more than two clubs in a season and in September he was the subject of racism by the club’s supporters who left a fake bomb in training ground with his picture on it.
Chelsea hope that Zenit will allow the player to leave this summer and are confident that Spurs won’t compete with them for the player’s personal terms.
Mourinho would prefer to bring in Cavani, Rooney or Lewandowski but has yet to see progress in moves for any of the players and will be frustrated if he has to turn to Benteke or Jovetic for his new striker.
The club have already secured the services of Andre Schurrle but Abramovich is willing to continue spending to regain the Premier League for the first time since 2010 and retain the club’s pedigree in Europe.