Zenit tell Tottenham: Hulk is not for sale

The Russian club have played down mounting speculation that the Brazilian could move to White Hart Lane after Spurs missed out on Chelsea-bound playmaker Willian
Zenit Saint Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti insists Tottenham target Hulk is not for sale.

The 27-year-old, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, had been considered as an alternative option to Chelsea-bound Willian by Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas.

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However, the Russian outfit have moved to quell speculation that the Brazil international could join the north Londoners and insist he remains an integral part of the club's plans.

"He is recovering rapidly. But the exact date, we can not tell you. He has exceptional muscle mass, it is difficult to predict anything. Let's wait for the forecast of our doctors. And again, Hulk is not for sale," Spalletti told reporters.

Hulk, who worked under Villas-Boas at Porto, had been seen as a potential replacement for Gareth Bale, who is expected to complete a move to Real Madrid for a world-record fee imminently.

Spurs' Portuguese boss has spoken of his admirations for the former Tokyo Verdy attacker in the past, though conceded in May that any move for the Brazilian would be "impossible".

"He was my player and scored 36 goals in one season but it's impossible he will make a move here because of the wages that he earns, which would break our balance," said Villas-Boas.

"He may have options in the summer but to a club like Tottenham his transfer fee is also impossible."