Barcelona are reportedly in talks with midfielder Paulinho ahead of a possible move from Guangzhou Evergrande this summer.
The 28-year-old is of course a familiar face given his international exploits with Brazil, as well as his two-year stint with Tottenham in the Premier League between 2013 and 2015.
Since moving to China two years ago though, he has settled well and has won back-to-back Chinese Super League titles with Guangzhou, while they’re four points clear at the top of the table this time round too.
According to Sky Sports, the Catalan giants are keen on Paulinho, but the £35m release clause in his contract is one that they’re not willing to meet. In turn, negotiations will have to take place to see if that can be lowered in order for him to complete a move to the Nou Camp this summer.
Barca have until July 14 to reach a deal, as the mid-season CSL transfer window will close on that date, while in an ideal world they’ll want to put Ernesto Valverde’s squad together as quickly as possible ahead of the start of their pre-season tour next month.
The need for midfield reinforcements at Barcelona is clear, and it’s no real surprise that they’re looking in that department to strengthen. Eyebrows will be raised over it being Paulinho as the player they believe can solve their problems, but as he has shown throughout his career, he’s a powerful box-to-box midfielder that can offer a lot in the right surroundings.
As noted by ESPN, Paulinho himself has previously revealed that he has an offer from Barcelona, as depending on their pursuit of Marco Verratti, the Spanish outfit could be forced to settle for their second choice this summer if Paris Saint-Germain aren’t willing to even discuss an offer.
Should Paulinho arrive, he would join compatriots Neymar, Rafinha and Marlon Santos at the club.