Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Champions League

Hulk © Gallo Images

Hulk could quit Zenit after Spalletti spat



Zenit St Petersburg's record signing Hulk has threatened to quit the Russian club following a heated exchange with coach Luciano Spalletti during Tuesday's Champions League win at AC Milan.

The Brazil striker reacted angrily after the Italian coach substituted him late in the game at the San Siro, which Zenit won 1-0.

Spalletti was seen extending his hand, trying to greet Hulk as he was leaving the pitch but the Brazilian just walked by without looking at the coach before having a heated discussion with the Zenit staff near the sideline.

"If the situation with the coach does not resolve itself I may leave the club in the January transfer window," Hulk, 26, was quoted as saying by local media.

Spalletti hit back at the striker after initially playing down the incident.

"Hulk can say anything he wants, but if I decide to change him during the game it means I'm not happy with his play," Spalletti was quoted as saying by local media on Wednesday.

"Hulk is mistaken if he thinks he should play for 90 minutes all the time. He said he wants to leave? Then, it's his choice and I can do nothing about it," added the Italian.

"As for myself, I'm not going anywhere."

Earlier Spalletti said: "All big players don't react well when they're substituted. The most important thing is that we won the game."

The Russian champions beat Milan thanks to a first half strike by captain Danny in their final Group C match to finish third and qualify for the Europa League.

Hulk has had a tough time settling in St Petersburg, with several senior Zenit players apparently unhappy after the club splashed out a Russian league record 60 million euros ($78.52 million) just before the transfer deadline to sign the striker.

Zenit demoted Russia skipper Igor Denisov to the reserve team in September after he refused to play, issuing an ultimatum to renegotiate his contract in line with what Hulk was making.

Denisov was later allowed to rejoin the first team after making an apology.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref assault should be condemned by all
The assault on a referee in Saudi Arabia recently should be condemned by all.

Neil Tovey
My Absa Prem team of the season
Games are won by scoring goals but defence wins titles. That rang true for Kaizer Chiefs.

Carol Radull
I'm not surprised Arsenal stumbled
Why am I not surprised that Arsenal has stumbled at the final hurdle, or close to the final hurdle?

Sunday Oliseh
Why Pep’s move could fire up the EPL
It’s the talk, speculation and rumour of the moment that, if true, could impact the English Premier...

Segun Odegbami
Messi, the little genius
After last Wednesday night, the challenge with writing about this little Argentine is not about how...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The best team always wins the league
One of the ironies of life is that the first time I heard the chant of “boring, boring”, it was...