Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Chelsea close on new signings

Hulk

Chelsea's summer recruitment drive may have gathered pace amid reports they were closing in on the signings of Eden Hazard and Hulk.

Belgium playmaker Hazard was said to be preparing for a medical on Monday ahead of an expected move from Lille, while it was suggested Porto forward Hulk had agreed terms with the European champions on a four-year contract.

Brazil star Hulk, who has been valued at £38million, has certainly seemed to pave the way for a potential transfer by hinting the time could be right for him to leave Portugal. Asked what the future held for him, the 25-year-old told Lancenet: "I will always continue to work hard and keep my feet on the ground, regardless of whether I stay at Porto."

He added: "I have won many titles in the past four years at Porto, and I think that I have a great relationship with everyone. If the time has come to move on, I'll do so with a good feeling. I have enjoyed a great time here. I'm sure that they will understand the motives behind my decision if I leave."

Hulk, who is contracted to Porto until 2016, added: "The club and its fans will forever have a place in my heart. I can only thank them for all the affection they've shown me."

Hulk would fill the void left in Chelsea's squad by Champions League hero Didier Drogba, while Hazard would take the place of Salomon Kalou, who is out of contract this summer.

It is almost a week since Hazard announced he had decided to join the Blues, who reportedly beat off competition from both Manchester United and Manchester City by offering the 21-year-old a reported £170,000-a-week, five-year contract.

Chelsea also look certain to attempt to sign a new right-back after allowing Jose Bosingwa to leave, with Ajax star Gregory van der Wiel having long been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.

Asked if he would be tempted by an offer from the European champions, the Holland international told Sky Sports News: "Yeah, of course. It would be a beautiful club (to join). I watch a lot of football - English football, Spanish football - and they did not have the best season but still won the Champions League and that was a great performance."

Van der Wiel insisted he had yet to hear of a firm offer for his services. He said: "I didn't hear anything from my manager, so they're just rumours, I think, and we will see in the future what comes."

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