By ESPNSTAR.com staff
In a spectacular display of Roman Abramovich's wealth, it appears as if he has sanctioned yet another big-money move within a week of Eden Hazard's statement of intent about having agreed on a move to the west London club. The transfer of the Belgian star is reported as costing the club £32 million although there has been no official announcement with regards to the confirmation of the transfer.
The Guardian reports that Porto were hoping to push the transfer closer to Hulk's €100 million release clause but with Chelsea being the lone bidder, the English club has managed to bargain the fee down even as it remains far beyond what most clubs can hope to muster at this early stage of the transfer window.
The Russian owner appears especially elated following the club's Champions League triumph and looks eager to build a new generation of talent at the club as the old guard of Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry are entering the final stages of their careers. Drogba, for his part, has already declared his intention to leave the club and he ended his Chelsea sojourn in style by dispatching the winning spot-kick in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
Chelsea have still not made up their mind on the future of interim manager Roberto di Matteo whose contract runs till the end of the current month. Reports continue to emanate from the United Kingdom that the oil tycoon strongly prefers established coaches with former Barcelona Pep Guardiola being his prime target. Guardiola is currently taking a one-year sabbatical and it is unclear if he can be convinced to change his mind even as he admitted that he could be 'seduced' by a good offer in the aftermath of Barcelona's Copa del Rey triumph last week.
The report also states that Chelsea's transfer business is primarily being handled by technical director Michael Emenalo who has helped the boss procure the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Fernando Torres and David Luiz. He is said to be a direct successor to Frank Arnesen and was brought in by former manager Avram Grant who himself secured the job following Jose Mourinho's abrupt resignation following claims of interference from the upper echeleons of the club.
Torres' place appears to be safe, however, as chief executive Ron Gourlay indicated that "Torres is the man that we will go forward with" with the Spaniard being Andriy Shevchenko's spiritual successor as his acquisition was personally recommended by the 45-year-old billionnaire.
Such reasoning would entail that Hulk will be employed primarily down the flanks as a right winger but the Porto striker is comfortable with such a role and should be able to transition to the Premier League quite comfortably given his physical strength and athleticism.
Alongside Drogba, Jose Bosingwa and Salomon Kalou could also be on their way out as their contract is nearing expiry while Florent Malouda and Michael Essien have just one year left on their contracts and could be utilised to help recoup some cash. Chelsea have already confirmed the purchase of Marko Marin from Werder Bremen and Kevin de Bruyne from Genk.
Hulk, 25, is a fan favourite at the Estádio do Dragão but the switch, if confirmed, would mark the end of a long-running transfer saga which began in earnest following former Porto manager Andre Villas-Boas' appointment as Chelsea manager last summer and has continued even after the Portuguese's demise at the club.
The striker has scored 57 goals in 91 games in the past two seasons and would further add to the striking talent available in England joining the likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero in the annual goalscoring battle.