Football

Chelsea target hints at January exit after altercation with manager

Hulk has struggled for form in Russia (©GettyImages)
Hulk has struggled for form in Russia (©GettyImages).

One-time Chelsea target Hulk has cast doubt on his future at Zenit St Petersburg after he threw a strop at Luciano Spalletti's decision to substitute the Brazil striker.

According to the Daily Mail, Hulk's act could spell the end for him in Russia, after the former-Porto forward moved to Zenit in the summer for £39.5m. And Chelsea are now thought to be on alert, and ready to move in January should the striker become available.

The powerful striker was hauled off on 80 minutes, as his side led 1-0 at the San Siro against AC Milan. And the Zenit manager's decision was met by an angry response from Hulk - the two had a frank exchange in the dugout after Hulk snubbed Spalletti's handshake.

Hulk seemed to intimate to Spalletti that he would take no more at the club, crossing his arms as if to suggest he's done with Zenit.

And after the match, which Zenit won 1-0 booking their place in the Europa League, Hulk said: "If the situation with Spalletti is not solved, in January I will leave."

The Brazilian's time in Russia has been characterised by controversy. Initially, the Zenit first-team squad revolted on his arrival, angry at the huge wages Hulk was able to command.

Club captain Igor Denisov took his concerns public and was promptly ordered to train with the youth team.

And the report claims the 26-year-old's troubles in Russia could lead to a revival of Chelsea's interest in the player.

The European champions monitored the striker for much of the summer, and a Premier League switch looked to be a distinct possibility as Tottenham also showed an interest.

But in the end, Zenit pipped Chelsea to the signing, bringing Hulk to Russia for a club record fee in September.

Watch Hulk throw his strop here...

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League

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