The Brazilian ace has been on the Blues’ radar for some time, with the likes of Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo and Jose Mourinho having all been linked with the powerful front-man.
However, a deal has always been out of the club’s reach, with the Russian side having remained keen to keep him.
Despite being impressive in a Zenit shirt – netting 23 goals since his £40m 2012 move from Porto – Hulk is believed to be ready to leave in order to ply his trade in a more prestigious league.
The 27-year-old has informed his employers of his wishes, which has prompted speculation that a sizable offer will be accepted.
This has alerted Mourinho, who is desperate to add a top-class centre-forward to his ranks after growing frustrated by the contributions of Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba.
Hulk himself is likely to jump at the chance to move to Stamford Bridge, a club that he very nearly joined in 2011.