Hulk revealed he had an opportunity to make a switch to Tottenham Hotpsur before joining Atlético Mineiro in 2021.
The forward left Zenit Saint Petersburg for Chinese side Shanghai SIPG in the summer of 2016. After spending over three years in Asia, he wanted to return to Europe and that’s when the London club emerged as one of the options for the 35-year-old.
José Mourinho was then in charge at Tottenham Hotspur. The Portuguese tactician’s agent, Jorge Mendes, tried to bring the Brazilian to the Premier League. However, the deal did not take shape due to the failure to secure a work permit.
The former FC Porto star failed to meet the necessary criteria to be eligible to play in England.
Hulk has published a book titled, Incrível, written by journalist Cahê Mota. He made claims about Tottenham in chapter four, ‘Agora é Galo Doido’, relayed by 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,” said Hulk.
“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 30th.
“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.”