Zenit’s biggest signing Hulk says he’s ready to leave the Russian side as early as January next year due to what he called “a conflict” with coach, Luciano Spalletti.
According to Portuguese A Bola newspaper, English Premier League giants Chelsea are now hoping to sign the player during the upcoming transfer window.
Hulk was outraged when he was substituted in the 80th minute of Zenit’s Champions League game at AC Milan on Tuesday, refusing to shake the coach’s hand after he left the pitch.
“If the conflict situation with Luciano Spalletti can’t be resolved, I’ll leave Zenit in January,” the Brazilian told Italy’s Mediaset TV. “I’m very angry at him. I moved to Zenit to play and not to be replaced in every game, I want to leave.”
Meanwhile, Spalletti believes there’s no need to dramatize the situation, saying there won’t be any sanctions towards Hulk for his behavior.
“Of course, it’s unpleasant that a player with such a level of skill doesn’t display it on the pitch. When this happens as a coach I do my job and make a substitution,” he commented.
Zenit purchased Hulk from Porto for between €40 and €60 million setting an all-time Russian transfer record.
So far the 26-year-old hasn’t been able to prove that he’s worth the money, scoring just four goals for his new club.
The Brazilian international also failed to make friends with his St Pete teammates, who were jealous of his high salary. This resulted in key midfielder Igor Denisov spending over month with the reserve squad.
If Hulk really leaves Saint Petersburg he won’t be able to play football until the summer as he has already competed for two team’s Porto and Zenit this season.