Hulk has been warned that his decision to sign a new contract with Zenit Saint-Petersburg may be one that he will eventually regret by former Russia international Alexander Panov.
The Brazil international committed his long-term future to his current side earlier this week by penning an extension to his lucrative deal with the Gazprom-backed side until 2019.
Hulk’s decision came in spite of long standing interest from big sides such as Spurs and Chelsea, who have both been monitoring him for some time.
The news is, naturally, great for Zenit and Russian football as a whole, but Panov believes that the 29-year-old has shown a lack of ambition and is perhaps motivated by non-football factors:
“The news that Zenit have reached a new agreement with Hulk until the middle of 2019 has caused me mixed feelings.” He told Izvestia.
“On the one hand, I feel sorry for the Brazilian from a professional point of view.
“Naturally, Hulk likes it here in Russia because he earns much more than he would ever be offered by another European club.
“In addition, he is the chief of the village – so to speak – in our league.
“He is the best player not only at Zenit, but also in the entire Russian league.
“He knows this much himself, and in Europe he would be nothing.
“Because of the time spent in the Russian championship he has essentially lost form.
“We all saw Hulk play for the Brazilian national team at the World Cup in 2014 – but now his game leaves much to be desired, to the extent that he is even annoying his own fans.
“I think that will only get worse now. In Russa, Hulk is not progressing but rather becoming degraded.”
Hulk cost Zenit a fee of over £40m in 2012 after impressing with Porto.
Prior to his time in Portugal Hulk had played for Tokyo Verdy and Kawasaki Frontale in Japan after leaving his homeland as a youngster.