As rumours persist that Jose Mourinho will return to the Stamford Bridge hot seat next season, other rumours are beginning to lay atop them in what could soon become a tower of speculation.
The latest is the news that Mourinho’s transfer wish-list is topped by a player who has long been linked with Chelsea; a player who English fans know more for his name and speculative headlines than for his unquestionable talent.
That player is Hulk, the 26-year-old forward currently with Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg.
In recent years, Hulk has become one of those men forever linked but never signed, at least by an English side.
He seemed on the verge of joining Chelsea last summer, in a deal reportedly worth £38million.
It was a transfer fee the Blues ultimately baulked at; allowing Zenit to add a further £1.5million to that total in what – along with the £32 million signing of Axel Witsel – was a huge statement of intent.
But despite the Brazilian’s short time in Russia, he could soon be reuniting with the man he played under at Porto.
Should it happen, it would be one of the summer’s more obvious transfers.
Chelsea are in desperate need of a striker. In fact, along with a manager it is about the only thing they are lacking.
Their midfield is rife with creativity and doggedness, their defence fully-stocked, and they have goalkeepers both for the present and the future in Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois.
But up front, it could be argued their best striker has been playing for someone else this season. And even if Romelu Lukaku does return to Stamford Bridge in the summer, a top-class marksman would make Chelsea realistic title-challengers once more.
Today Mourinho has confirmed he will discuss his future with Real Madrid at the end of the current campaign. He has made no secret that his next role will be in England. But how soon that next role is accepted is still to be revealed.
You sense the Portuguese manager revels in the mystery. Few coaches can tangle the media in knots with a few ambiguous words.
For now the speculation will continue. But if it turns out to be more than that, in the case of both Mourinho and Hulk, Chelsea’s rivals should be very concerned next season.
Sir Alex Ferguson has already suggested what would happen should his old nemesis return to these shores. In short, the challenge would be on once more.
Can you see both Mourinho and Hulk joining Chelsea next season? And who else do they need to succeed both in the Premier League and in Europe?
image: © *dirk