Football

Chelsea & Arsenal dealt 'history' blow in striker chase

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Chelsea and Arsenal have been dealt a potentially decisive blow in their pursuit of Porto striker Hulk.

The Brazilian international has been heavily linked with a move away from the Estádio do Dragão since the summer, with Andre Villas-Boas' exit expected to lead to a move away from the Primeira Liga champions for the 25-year-old.

Despite interest from the Chelsea boss, new manager Vítor Pereira held firm over the striker, and after signing a new deal with the club Hulk is happy to stay.

"I hope to continue giving much joy to this club," said Hulk.

"I want to make history in Porto. They are the best club I have been in my life and they gave me the opportunity to play in Europe. I am very grateful to the club and I will not leave although rumours continue to appear in the newspapers.

"My head is only focused on Porto."

The news will come as a blow not just to Villas-Boas, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger too after the Frenchman was confirmed to have had an interest in the striker in the past by representative Teodoro Fonseca earlier in the month.

Fonseca stopped short of saying the Gunners hadn't made a £23 million offer, as was reported at the time, but admitted that the fresh link over a move to the Emirates was news to him.

"Every year there are more clubs interested in Hulk and I am also aware that there are clubs from outside the Premier League interested," he told A Bola.

"This Arsenal rumour is news to me but it is true that there has been contact before but nothing happened."

Arsenal invested heavily in attacking players during the summer transfer window, with Gervinho, Park Chu-Young and Mikel Arteta all added with the aim of increasing the club's forward productivity.


 

However, an over-reliance on Robin Van Persie has left many predicting Wenger will again look to spend in January, although Hulk now appears an unlikely capture for the north London club.

Whilst Chelsea boss Villas-Boas compared Daniel Sturridge to Hulk last week, the manager is a known admirer of the player who helped him claim domestic and Europa League honours during his one year in charge at Porto.

It was claimed in the summer that the Blues would offer as much as €80 million for the player after an £87.5 million release clause was placed in his new deal, but the reports failed to materialise and Chelsea instead added strength-in-depth with the services of Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata and Oriol Romeu.

A January move could have been in the offing, but Chelsea may be on a hiding to nothing given the player's comments about his future.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Chelsea
Premier League

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