Zenit St Petersburg are reportedly lining up Andre Villas-Boas to take over the Russian champions.
The Portuguese boss has been out of work since being dismissed by Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the season, yet despite now being sacked twice in the Premier League, he still has a reputation across Europe as one of the brightest young managers in the game.
Taking over Russian champions Zenit might just be the confidence-boosting job Villas-Boas requires right now, and a possible appointment might just persuade Zenit’s star striker to stick around for a while longer.
Brazilian international Hulk, 27, has been linked with a move away from the club over recent months – citing the lack of challenges in Russian football and the standard compared to Europe’s elite.
Premier League leaders Chelsea are openly looking for a new striker this summer, and Hulk has been one of the names mentioned – a deal which would definitely suit both parties.
According to Sambafoot, his agent spoke to Russian journal Izvestia and commented that his £40million client could move this summer:
"Despite the huge transfer fee required to sign Hulk, don’t rule out that he will move to one of the top clubs in Europe this summer," he said.
"English clubs still have the highest chance of signing him."
The news that Zenit could lose their star striker may have added extra motivation in looking at Villas-Boas as Spalletti’s replacement.
Hulk and Villas-Boas have a fantastic history together, winning an unprecedented treble at Porto while going through the whole domestic season unbeaten – a feat which shot both men to stardom.
With Zenit’s perhaps fearful of losing their striker this summer, the promise of further additions and re-uniting him with Andre Villas-Boas may be enough to scupper any potential move to Stamford Bridge.
Will Hulk remain a Zenit St Petersburg player next season?