The EPL off-season transfer window (aka the Silly Season™) brings out the best and the worst – especially the worst – in the football media. And somehow, Tottenham always seems to feature in the craziest of those rumors. Dispatches from #batcountry is a new feature at Cartilage Free Captain where we find the craziest of the crazy ITK rumors out there on the Intar Webz... and mock them incessantly, proving to you why you shouldn't believe everything you read. Think of it as a public service for your brain.
Today's rumor actually came out yesterday but has been repeated on a number of websites and involves former Porto inside forward and our favorite Avenger, Hulk. Yesterday, England's Metro newspaper took a two sentence off-handed comment from Hulk's agent Teodoro Fonseca about English clubs' interest in his client in an interview with Portugese newspaper O Jogo. Metro then not only ran with it, but scribbled on it with crayon, framed it, and tried to sell it at Sotheby's. The quotes?
"There are two great teams of the Premier League to have made their interest known... Tottenham? Those links are normal because it was with Andre Villas-Boas and Porto where Hulk had the best time."
The article goes on to say that Hulk's current club, Zenit St. Petersburg, "would only consider bids in the region of £40 million for Hulk."
Let's stop and think this through for a second.
- Hulk played for AVB at Porto. FUCHT! Hulk also apparently really likes AVB, and why wouldn't he? Their one year together they went undefeated in the Liga Sangres and won the Europa League. That kind of experience forms a pretty strong bond with your manager, usually. BUT...
- Take a closer look at the (probably out of context) quotes. The "two great teams" of the EPL may not actually include Tottenham Hotspur. The quote about Spurs is most likely in reference to the fact that Hulk is ALWAYS linked to wherever AVB is managing. He was linked to Chelsea when AVB was managing there, and Hulk is still liked to Chelsea because of course he is. Can anyone think of two OTHER insanely wealthy English clubs that would have that kind of cash to throw around? Hmmm...
- Hulk is apparently quite happy playing in Russia based on this article from March, despite not having the greatest of seasons last year and reported clashes with his manager.
- When Hulk signed with Zenit last January it was a five-year deal worth £48m.† The Metro apparently thinks that Zenit will not only let him go after one season, but they'll let him go for £8m less than what they paid for him. They also seem to think that Tottenham, with or without any Gareth Bale money, will consider shelling out £40m for a single player when their largest ever transfer fee was £16.75m for Luka Modric. Finally, Zenit's not selling their expensive star in the absence of a written transfer request from Hulk, and even if they did, he's not coming to Tottenham Hotspur because we're not playing Champions League football.
- Seriously, does anyone actually believe this crap?