Stamford Bridge manager wants to bring in another Brazilian talent.
New Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez is keen to beat former club Inter Milan to the signing of Brazil international Paulinho, according to sources in Italy.
Benitez, who started his job at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, is believed to have identified the acquisition of a defensive midfielder as his key transfer priority ahead of the January window.
The Blues have been interested in Paulinho for the past year, although Corinthians admitted earlier this month they have no intention of selling him.
But Benitez is keen to pair current Stamford Bridge favourite Ramires with his international team-mate and his side could come in with an offer for the 24-year-old in six weeks’ time.
Chelsea do of course have a fair few Brazilians in their Stamford Bridge but it does appear that another could be on his way to West London.
Paulinho has enjoyed three consistent seasons at Corinthians, netting 35 goals in the process and forcing his way into the Brazilian national team set-up.
As is almost inevitable this run of good form has led to speculation of a move to Europe and the box to box performer may well be interested in joining his national team colleagues at Stamford Bridge.
Paulinho could be seen as a direct replacement for veteran Frank Lampard, with the England man nearing a Chelsea exit as he moves to within the last six months of his Blues contract and with no deal in sight.
Rafa Benitez may only be an interim manager but the Spaniard will still have his eyes on the long term and will hope to persuade owner Roman Abramovich of his worth and as such will be looking to make additions in the January transfer window.
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