Skip to main content

Hulk reflects on Chelsea and Manchester United links: “Only after I signed for Zenit was I told they had been interested...”

Hulk Chelsea Man Utd
(Image credit: PA)

Shanghai SIPG striker Hulk has admitted that Chelsea were once interested in his services – but that he had no idea until after the fact.

The Brazilian, now 33, has spent the last four years in China after a similarly lengthy stint at Zenit Saint Petersburg. Having tasted domestic success in Russia, Hulk celebrated ending Guangzhou Evergrande's monopoly of the Chinese Super League in 2018.

His €60 million move to Zenit in 2012 came as something of a surprise after he had established himself as one of Europe’s hottest properties at Porto – but Hulk says a Premier League switch was never truly forthcoming.  

SUMMER SALE Just £9.99 for the first six months with a FourFourTwo subscription (opens in new tab)

“In my first season at Porto, I started well and remember hearing some talk about Manchester United, but I never received anything concrete on that,” he admits in the July 2020 issue of FFT – a Brazil special out in shops now and available to order online with free delivery (opens in new tab).

“At the time, I was too young and left those things for other people to sort out, so I didn’t get to know which offers arrived. Only after I signed for Zenit was I told Chelsea had been interested, but I can’t tell you how serious they were. 

“Naturally it felt a bit strange not hearing any news regarding a potential transfer, because you always see players from the Portuguese league going to teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid, and also the Premier League. I’d been the best player in Portugal in three different seasons, too.”


QUIZ! Can you get 60 correct answers in our big six quiz?

GUIDE Premier League live streams: How to watch every game on this week

Get the July 2020 issue of FourFourTwo now (opens in new tab): a Brazil special featuring Rivelino, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos, Firmino’s rise, Robinho’s fall, Socrates at Garforth, Marta’s amazing story and more!

FourFourTwo July 2020

(Image credit: FourFourTwo)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

FourFourTwo was launched in 1994 on the back of a World Cup that England hadn’t even qualified for. It was an act of madness… but it somehow worked out. Our mission is to offer our intelligent, international audience access to the game’s biggest names, insightful analysis... and a bit of a giggle. We unashamedly love this game and we hope that our coverage reflects that.