Porto boss Victor Pereira insists the club’s starts Hulk and Joao Moutinho are in his plans for the coming season, in the wake of continued interest in the duo from clubs across Europe.
Brazilian striker Hulk has been the subject of much speculation over a rumoured move to Chelsea (9/2 To Win The Premier League), initially thought to be worth somewhere in the region of £38m. However, Porto are holding out for a fee closer to the mammoth £85m release clause in his contract. The 26-year-old is currently in England with the Brazil (1/12 to win Group C) Olympic football squad and has distanced himself from talk of a move, insisting his own focus is on his nation’s success in London.
This week, rumours have suggested that Hulk’s former manager at Porto, Andre Villas-Boas, could be due to join the race for the striker’s signature, along with free-spending Paris St Germain, although whether Tottenham (7/4 To Beat Newcastle On The Opening Day) have the resources for such a move is unknown. As for Moutinho, he is being lined up as a replacement for Luka Modric, and is known to have a strong relationship with Andre Villas-Boas which could make his transfer a more realistic pursuit for the White Hart Lane board.
Porto (66/1 To Win The Champions League) president Pinto da Costa however is defiant in his stance regarding the player’s potential moves and Pereira is relying on the presence of both as the new season begins: “Hulk and Joao Moutinho are both in my plans for next season. They are our players and are very important to the structure of this team. I am not preoccupied by the possibility of big offers from England because I know the clear position of Porto's president on this subject.”