Luciano Spalletti, the Italian coach of Russian club Zenit St Petersburg, has confirmed his interest in signing Manchester United's Portuguese winger Nani.
"The news about Nani is true. Everything will depend on how much players cost because we won't pay excessive amounts of money," the former Roma manager was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. However, the 53-year-old was quick to point out that the club had not yet approached the player and was still in talks with United over a transfer fee.
"I'm not talking about an offer to a particular player, but an offer to a club. If the club won't sell a player, then there's no thought of making an offer to the player himself," Spalletti explained. He also hinted that FC Porto's Brazilian striker Hulk is another player who interests him.
Hulk has been linked with major clubs across Europe this summer, but Porto president Pinto da Costa's determination not to lose his star for less than his reported buyout clause of €100m (£78m) has made any talk of a transfer difficult.
Meanwhile, a Goal.com report adds Barcelona's Ibrahim Afellay to the list of potential targets for Zenit, while indicating there are two other as yet unidentified players in talks with the Russian outfit.
"Are we interested in Hulk and Nani? Yes we are. Everything's going to depend on how much they cost. There are three more players who we're holding negotiations with besides Nani and Hulk, but I won't name them. But if you want one more name, it's Afellay," Spalletti said.
There is also speculation involving United's disgruntled Bulgarian forward, Dimitar Berbatov, who has been linked with a move away after finding first team football hard to come by at Old Trafford. An earlier IBTimes UK report suggested Zenit may make a move for the 31-year-old striker. However, the Daily Mail now suggests the Russians are no longer interested in the former Bayer Leverkusen man.
The Russian Premier League has already begun and Zenit are the early pace-setters, with a perfect return of four wins in as many games. Their most recent game was a 5-0 thrashing of second place Spartak Moscow. They travel to play Anzhi Makhachkala on 19 August.