With the close of the transfer window just over 24 hours away, Chelsea are still thought to be continuing their quest to being in a striker. It promises to be a busy end of the week for the Blues, as they also take on Atletico Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup on Friday.
But part of coach Roberto Di Matteo's thoughts are likely to be elsewhere as he hopes that reinforcements can be made to a list of established strikers that currently includes just Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge.
Hulk has been high on Chelsea's list of targets for some time, but it is now believed that Porto's asking price has proved insurmountable. Zenit St Petersburg and Tottenham have also been interested, with the Russian side thought to have had mammoth €50 million £39.6m) bid rejected in recent days. Unsurprisingly, a source has told ESPN that Chelsea were unwilling to approach that valuation for the Brazilian.
"Despite all the rumors and speculation, no English clubs were bidding for Hulk--he was far too expensive.
"Zenit will pay a minimum of €50 million. The fee might be as high as €60 million. I expect it will go ahead in the next 24 hours, but no English club was prepared to come anywhere near to that figure."
With the a deal for Hulk seemingly dead in the water, a potential new target has emerged as speculation reaches fever pitch. The Daily Express claims that Chelsea, along with Tottenham, are pursuing France international Loic Remy.
Like Hulk, Remy has spent much of his time on the right of the attack, but has a better reputation as a central striker for Marseille.
The report states that Remy could be available for £15 million, making him a cheaper alternative to Chelsea's other targets--Hulk, Edinson Cavani and Andre Schurrle. While reports had claimed that Spurs were close to concluding a deal for Remy, manager Andre Villas-Boas has stated that the 25-year-old will not be arriving at White Hart Lane.
Following the recent signing of the similarly-positioned Victor Moses, a move for Remy looks unlikely; with Chelsea potentially set to increase their offer for Bayer Leverkusen's Schurrle.
Another claim from the Express that appears to be somewhat from leftfield sees Chelsea linked with a move for Brazilian attacking midfielder Willian. The Shakhtar Donetsk star was reported to be high on Tottenham's list of targets in recent days. Spurs' manager Villas-Boas has said he tried to bring the 24-year-old to Stamford Bridge during his time in charge of the Blues, but there have been no signs that interest in the player remains.
With Chelsea having already spent around £80 million this summer, the club may be looking to bring some money in before making further purchases. One player linked with a move away from the club in recent days is Michael Essien. The Ghanaian's mix of dynamism and technical skill once made him one of the world's outstanding midfielders, but several serious injuries appear to have taken their toll on the 29-year-old.
The London Evening Standard claims that Chelsea are now eager to sell Essien, with Fenerbahce said to be planning an £8 million bid.