Hulk fan of English football, would be happy to play in Premier League
Shanghai SIPG striker Hulk has not ruled out the possibility of moving to England, despite having three years remaining on his contract with the Chinese Super League side.
The Brazilian joined SIPG last June from Zenit St Peterburg for a then-Asian record fee of €55m. But the 30-year-old says he would still consider a move to England, despite his existing commitments.
"I've always said I am a big fan of English football. I always dreamed of playing in the English league," he said. "It's very competitive with packed stadiums no matter who's playing.
"Since I arrived in Europe at FC Porto there was always speculation about myself going to England, but it never happened.
"My life took another direction away from English football. I have three more years on my contract, but I might leave before.
"I would be very happy because of my admiration for English football."
Hulk made a slow start to his career in the Chinese Super League, picking up an injury in his first game for his new club that limited his impact last season.
But this year he has been in impressive form, scoring eight times in all competitions for SIPG.
He has developed a good understanding with countrymen Oscar and Elkeson, under the coaching of Andre Villas-Boas.
The Chinese giants have moved into second place in the league standings, and are into the last 16 of the AFC Champions League after an impressive Group F campaign.
However, he became embroiled in a row earlier this month with former Guizhou Zhicheng coach Li Bing, who alleged the former FC Porto forward had punched one of his assistants. The claims were denied by SIPG.
Hulk and SIPG will travel across town to face Gus Poyet's Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League on Saturday.
Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch