‘It was all set’ – Player reveals he almost joined Spurs under Mourinho and why move failed

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Jose Mourinho
Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Hulk has revealed that he was close to joining Tottenham last year before returning to Brazil to join Atletico Mineiro. 

The forward, who previously plied his trade for Porto and Zenit, left Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG last summer after more than four productive years in Asia. 

But the 35-year-old’s move back to his native country only came after he failed to secure a desired move to a European club, with Tottenham named as one of the interested parties. 

Hulk’s agent Jorge Mendes attempted to seal a switch to Spurs, managed by Jose Mourinho at the time, but was unable to get a deal over the line despite an agreement being in place.

After failing to meet the criteria needed to play in the English top flight, he was not granted a work permit and subsequently signed a two-year contract with Atletico Mineiro instead. 

Hulk revealed in his book ‘Incrivel’ (via Globo Esporte): “I was already back in João Pessoa, in my Paraíba state, when Palmeiras asked me to wait for the Libertadores decision to advance conversations.

“I replied that I couldn’t promise anything. Proposals arrived daily and it was important to make it clear that if something touched my heart, I would close it and not wait for anyone. The final of the competition would take place on January 30. 

“It was a time when Turkish clubs came out very strong in the proposals: Besiktas, Fenerbahçe and Istanbul Basaksehir. There were daily calls. Few people know, but in this period, I came to agree with Tottenham.

“Jorge Mendes, a Portuguese agent, called me and said he had talked to coach José Mourinho and asked if I wanted to play in England. Sure!

“It was all set so that I could be legalised in the country. But it was not possible due to a change in the Premier League regulations.

“There was a point with some criteria for playing in England. Having recently been called up by the Brazilian national team and having played in some of the top five leagues in the world: Italy, Spain, Germany, England or France were some of them.

“I spent a good amount of time in China and consequently outside the national team’s call-ups. Lawyers even tried a special license, but it was not possible.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

Hulk has been around for quite a long time now and he never really sealed that huge move he probably could have got with how much talent he possessed. 

He moved to China arguably still in the prime of his career but his age now makes it strange that Spurs were supposedly close to signing him, as they don’t usually pursue players like that. 

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