Chelsea face €40m battle with Inter Milan for Hulk

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Inter Milan are ready to make a €40m bid to sign Hulk from Zenit St Petersburg in January, reports in Italy and Brazil claim.

The Brazilian international was on the hit list of a number of top clubs in the summer of 2012 before deciding to move to Gazprom-backed Zenit in a £32m deal.

But after just 18 months in Russia, Hulk has told the club that he wants to leave and fulfil his ambition to play in one of Europe's top leagues.

Jose Mourinho has held a long-term interest in the forward, having originally been keen to take him from former club Porto during his first managerial spell at Chelsea.

Hulk's desire to leave Russia had reportedly alerted Mourinho, and it is believed that he is preparing a move to bring him to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Chelsea's problems up front have been well documented this season with Samuel Eto'o, Demba Ba and Fernando Torres all failing to find top form. Hulk was seen as an answer to their problems. 

However, the summer may well be too late to sign the 27-year-old as Inter Milan are ready to make a €40m bid when the transfer window reopens next month.

Billionaire and new owner Erik Thor has handed a blank chequebook over to Walter Mazzarri for a January spending spree and it is believed the want-away Brazilian is high up on the list of targets.

Inter Milan had a shaky start to the season but have recovered and now sit in fifth place.

They face a fight to qualify for next season's Champions League, however, with Napoli sitting seven points above them in the last qualifying spot.

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