Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AVB Back in for Hulk as He Prepares for Life without His Star Man

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AVB Back in for Hulk as He Prepares for Life without His Star Man

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS wants Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy to back him in the transfer market this summer with a club-record bid for Brazil international Hulk.

The 26-year-old Hulk has had a torrid time since his [pounds sterling]32million move to Zenit St Petersburg in September but Standard Sport understands Villas-Boas has made signing his former Porto player a priority this summer.

Hulk can play as a winger and a forward and, significantly, he would be an ideal replacement for Gareth Bale should Spurs decide to cash in on the Wales international.

Real Madrid are long-term admirers of Bale and their sporting director, Zinedine Zidane, has revealed that no price will scare away his club from making a bid for the Football of the Year this summer.

Zidane said: "Tottenham could command [pounds sterling]40m, [pounds sterling]50m, maybe even [pounds sterling]60m for him. It is a lot of money -- but there are maybe three or four teams in the world that can pay that sort of transfer fee and it won't put them off."

Villas-Boas had great success with Hulk at Porto during the 2010-2011 season. The club won the domestic Double and the Europa League, with Hulk contributing an impressive 36 goals in 53 games. The duo have been close ever since. The Spurs coach was even pictured meeting Hulk in July, when the player was in this country preparing to play for Brazil at the Olympics.

This will be the third time Villas-Boas has tried to buy Hulk, having targeted him during his brief reign at Chelsea and then when he joined Spurs last summer.

But he is more confident about securing Hulk's signature on this occasion, although much will depend on whether Tottenham finish in the top four to qualify for the Champions League.

Hulk remained a target for Chelsea last summer even though Villas-Boas was sacked in March but he eventually joined Zenit. He has not enjoyed life in the Russian League, however. …

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