Transfer Rumours: Latest Updates on Robin Van Persie, Lucas Moura and Hulk
They are three of the names mentioned most often during this summer's transfer window, usually without anything new to report.
Such is the way of the transfer gossip silly season.
Today, however, reports have emerged concerning Arsenal striker Robin van Persie, Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas Moura and Porto forward Hulk which, if founded on good information, offer fresh developments on the likely destinations of each player.
Here are the latest updates on each member of this star trio.
Robin Van Persie
Even though Manchester United were always mentioned among the candidates to sign Van Persie, few genuinely rated them as front-runners.
The greater riches and prospect of trophies, not to mention the lack of the Premier League rivalry with Arsenal, seemed to make City the more likely destination in Manchester.
Juventus, meanwhile, are one of Europe's grandest clubs, back on the up following their unbeaten and triumphant Serie A campaign. The Bianconeri could offer the challenge of playing in another of Europe's top leagues and a glamorous new home for him and his family.
However, a report in the Manchester Evening News today claims that United are now the club most likely to sign last season's top scorer in the Premier League.
The MEN is not generally big on trading in transfer gossip, so when it does file such a story other media outlets it is usually worth paying attention.
Given the relatively low transfer fee involved and United's need for another top-class striker to partner Wayne Rooney, this is a deal that could well happen.
Just as United seem to have come from behind to lead the chase for Van Persie, so they would appear to have been overtaken in the race to sign Lucas Moura.
With the 19-year-old currently in England as part of the Brazil squad competing in the Olympics and United looking to fill a vacancy in attacking midfield, all the pieces seemed to fit so well.
However, the Sao Paulo player said after Brazil's 3-0 semifinal win over South Korea—ironically, staged at Old Trafford—that he was attracted to the idea of joining big-spending Paris Saint-Germain instead.
Quoting his words widely relayed in the Brazilian media, The Sun reported him as saying how the words of two of his compatriots—sporting director Leonardo and current Brazil teammate Thiago Silva—convinced him to open talks with PSG.
However, Moura went on to see that he would rather wait until January before making the move to France, which would allow him to complete his final campaign in Brazil and try to bring the Copa Libertadores to Sao Paulo as a parting gift.
With PSG's spending power far outweighing that of United - any player who talks about being attracted to the "project" as Moura did usually has dollar signs in their eyes as they do so—the Red Devils could be gazumped.
Chelsea have not exactly been shy about spending money this summer as they look to reinvigorate their squad. They have already spent big on Eden Hazard and Marko Marin this summer, and have had a bid for Germany forward Andre Schuerrle rejected by Bayer Leverkusen.
But the player who has proven elusive for them for so long is Porto striker Hulk.
The Brazil international has long been linked with the Blues, going back to the days when Carlo Ancelotti was in charge. The high release clause in Hulk's contract had always been a barrier, but this summer the Portuguese club are playing ball in the transfer market with their prize asset.
However, they rejected a £30 million bid from Chelsea earlier this summer, and the Blues seem unwilling to budge on their offer.
Step forward Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg.
The Daily Mirror is just one of many outlets in Britain, Portugal and Russia claiming that Zenit are offering £40 million for Hulk, and also throwing former Porto defender Bruno Alves into the bargain too.
With Champions League football on offer virtually every season and a big pay packet funded by energy giants Gazprom, Hulk could be swapping the sun of Portugal for the snow of Russia this summer.
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