Hulk: Zenit St. Petersburg Sign Former Porto Midfielder for £39.5 Million

Ryan Day@theryanedwardCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2012

PORTO, PORTUGAL - AUGUST 25:  Hulk of FC Porto looks on during the Liga Zon Sagres match between FC Porto and Vitoria Guimaraes at Estadio do Dragao on August 25, 2012 in Porto, Portugal.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

If there was a team not linked with a move for Porto midfielder and Brazilian international Hulk, no one in the world of football heard about it. Clubs from Spain, France, Italy, England—everyone—wanted the services of a player whose name so aptly describes his play on the pitch.

Well, it turns out the transfer saga is finally over. Zenit St. Petersburg has ponied up enough cash to sign the world-class attacking midfielder—a whopping €50 million, or £39.5 million.

ESPN tweeted this afternoon that Hulk, who was once heavily courted by Chelsea, will be playing in Russia instead of England for the foreseeable future after signing a five-year contract with the Russian champions.

It remains to be seen when Hulk will first suit up for Zenit St. Petersburg, but with group play for the Champions League starting on Tuesday, September 18, all signs point to sooner rather than later. Luckily for Zenit St. Petersburg, this coming weekend is reserved for international matches, so Hulk will have some extra time getting used to his new teammates and coaches.

The Brazilian joined Porto from Japanese side Tokyo Verdy and was a force to be reckoned with right away. He scored 54 goals in 99 league matches after signing in 2008.

Although he is only 26 years old, the versatile attacking option has already earned 298 combined appearances at the domestic and international levels.