Paper Round: £38m deal done for Hulk

Chelsea’s summer spending shows no signs of stopping, with the back pages reporting a deal for Porto’s Brazil striker Hulk.


The club and the player have been linked for years, with speculation intensifying when Andre Villas-Boas was linked with bringing him to London from his former club Porto last year, but the Guardian says the move will finally come to pass this summer.

The 25-year-old had a significant release clause, believed by the paper to be more like €60m (£48m) rather than the previously reported figures of €100m.

Hulk’s arrival would take Chelsea’s spending to £70m for the week, with Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard also declaring that he has signed for the Champions League winners for a transfer fee the Guardian puts at £32m.

As one striker prepares for life at Stamford Bridge, another is readying himself for life off it, with the Daily Mirror repeating claims that Didier Drogba could be set to ignore the overtures of Shanghai Shenhua and join Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.

Given reports that Drogba wanted a two-year deal at Chelsea and was only offered one, and given his reluctance to be a bit-part player behind Fernando Torres, whether the Ivorian would be prepared to sit behind Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain is another question altogether.

Harry Redknapp is seeking assurances over his Tottenham future, the same paper claims, as ‘an ambitious foreign consortium have put together a financial package to try and tempt Redknapp to Qatar’.

The 65-year-old’s relationship with the club appears to have soured, and discussions on the long-term plans will have taken on a new complexion after Spurs were denied Champions League football.

Still, Paper Round is not convinced that the commute from Sandbanks to Doha will be doable – even for ‘Arry.

Paul Lambert could be named Aston Villa today, and to use the correct transfer market parlance, he could ‘raid his old club’ immediately and bring Grant Holt to Villa Park (Daily Mail). Is that the signing that will get fans believing again?

Manchester City are doing some spending of their own, though not on Chelsea’s scale. Bologna’s Uruguayan playmaker Gaston Ramirez, rated at £14m, is attracting attention from the Etihad, with the Guardian claiming the club have already made contact with the player’s agent.

Sunderland are hoping to take full advantage of City’s abundance of strikers by making a loan offer for John Guidetti, who is highly-rated but well down the pecking order in Manchester (Daily Mail).

Neighbours Newcastle meanwhile are eyeing Dutch striker Luuk de Jong, who will cost £7m from FC Twente – conveniently the same amount they may receive for the sale of Demba Ba.

And finally, there are a couple of snippets of news about struggling Blackburn Rovers. Yakubu and Gael Givet could be on their way to China, with a couple of clubs interested and able to offer enormous wages (Daily Mail).

The Daily Star claim, meanwhile, that manager Steve Kean is about to use club legend Colin Hendry as a ‘human shield’. Not literally, but as part of his coaching staff to help bring fans back on board as he prepares the club for life in the Championship.

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