Monday, 3rd September, 2012
Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg have pulled off an astonishing coup by signing Hulk from FC Porto.
It is believed that Luciano Spalletti’s men have paid between €40M and €50M to sign the Brazil international, who has agreed a five-year contract with the Russian side.
Hulk had been a man in demand over the summer transfer window, with the forward wanted by Chelsea, Anzhi Makhachkala and Paris Saint-Germain, in addition to Zenit.
The striker had gone public with his desire to play for Champions League winners Chelsea, but no move to Stamford Bridge, or elsewhere, materialised as many of Europe’s top leagues saw their transfer windows slam shut.
In Russia though, the window remained open, and Zenit have used their unrivalled ability to sign players to surge in for Hulk, snapping up the 26-year-old in a deal which has stunned world football.
Hulk had a termination clause of €100M in his Porto contract, though the Portuguese champions conceded some time ago that such a bid was unlikely to arrive, and adjusted their expectations downwards.
Even so, Porto have banked an astonishing sum for the Brazil star, who will now play his football in the Russian Premier League.
Zenit have been looking to make a transfer splash all summer, with the club linked with a move for Manchester United winger Nani, a man Spalletti admitted he wanted.
Hulk never left Zenit’s radar though and the Russian champions have sent out a real statement of intent ahead of a Champions League campaign they expect to make a splash in.
The move also comes just one day after Hulk declared he was "fine" with a continued stay at Porto.