Having been linked with Brazilian forward Hulk for the entire summer, it appears that Chelsea are set to miss out on signing the Porto star. While the Blues have spent in excess of £80 million this summer, the pacey and powerful Hulk was always thought to be high on Chelsea's list of targets.
Portuguese publication Record now claims that Zenit St Petersburg are set to make a potentially decisive move for the 26-year-old. According to the report, Zenit's majority shareholder has authorized up to €50 million (£40m) to be spent on bringing Hulk to Russia.
Hulk has made several comments intimating his willingness to join the Blues during the close season. But despite their desire to bring Hulk to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are believed to have been dissuaded from negotiations due to what they viewed as a massively inflated asking price from Porto. Quotes from Porto's press officer on Monday claimed that Hulk's future would be decided by Wednesday.
Having signed another right-sided forward in Victor Moses last week, it appears that Chelsea have opted for a significantly less costly option.
Chelsea could find themselves short of options up front, however, should they elect to sell Daniel Sturridge before Friday's transfer deadline. Various publications have claimed that Liverpool are planning a late bid to try and bring the England forward to Anfield.
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The Daily Mail claims that Sturridge is likely to be receptive to a move given his fears over a lack of opportunity for first-team football this season. Chelsea will doubtless be reluctant to sell the 22-year-old as it would leave Fernando Torres as the club's only established striker. According to the Sun, Chelsea will set an asking price of £25 million for Sturridge, an amount that is all-but certain to deter any interested parties.
One forward that looks set to be on the way out of Stamford Bridge is Gael Kakuta. The 21-year-old Frenchman has struggled to establish himself at Chelsea and is now poised to sign a season-long loan deal with Marseille. According to the Daily Mail, the French side are also attempting to negotiate an option to sign Kakuta permanently for £5 million next summer. The report claims that Kakuta was due in France on Tuesday for further talks and to undergo a medical.
While much of Chelsea's outlay this summer has gone on forward-thinking creative players, there are reports that the Blues could attempt to strengthen the center of their defense in the coming days.
According to Metro, the Blues are set to compete with London-rivals Arsenal for Montpellier's Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. The 23-year-old has been strongly linked to the Gunners for some time, but it is believed that Chelsea could be set to sign the Ligue 1 champion's captain, who made his debut for France earlier this month.
Metro claims that Chelsea watched the defender in action against Marseille on Sunday and may see him as a potential replacement for David Luiz, who has been linked with a big-money move to Barcelona and Manchester City in recent times.