Tottenham Hotspur are preparing to hijack Chelsea's move for Porto forward Hulk, according to the Daily Mail.
The European champions have been heavily linked with a move for the 25 year old throughout the summer but have failed to agree a fee with the Portuguese club, who are understood to be demanding €70mn (£56mn) for the Brazil international.
The report states Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, who worked with Hulk when he was managing Porto, is hoping to use old connections and the lure of regular first team football to tempt the forward to White Hart Lane rather than Stamford Bridge, where he is likely to play second fiddle to Spaniard Fernando Torres. AVB will also be hoping to use those old connections to negotiate a more favourable buying price.
The former Chelsea boss knows he will need to sign attacking options. English international Jermain Defoe is the only recognised senior striker left in his ranks after the much-anticipated transfer of Emmanuel Adebayor from Manchester City hit a snag. Hulk, who can play either as a centre forward or through the flanks, presents an interesting option for the Portuguese tactician, who is looking for young and versatile players to boost his attack. The Brazilian scored 21 goals for Porto last season to help them defend their league title and recently played down speculation he has agreed to join Chelsea, opening doors for other clubs to make their move.
"There is no deal with Chelsea or any other club. I have four years left on my contract with Porto and I am focused on the national team. I have not spoken with anyone. As everyone knows, I do not want to get involved in such affairs because that removes your focus. My agent handles such things," Goal.com quoted the forward as saying
Meanwhile, Hulk arrived in London on Tuesday, as part of Brazil's Olympic squad and both Chelsea and Tottenham will be monitoring the player and his performances. Another player under the spotlight is Internacional midfielder Oscar, who is understood to be close to joining the Blues.
Pundits and fans will get a chance to see what both players are capable of in a pre-tournament friendly on Friday, when Brazil face Team GB at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium.