The midfielder has emerged as a potential January target for Brazilian clubs Sao Paulo and Corinthians.

Midfielder Paulinho, who is yet to start a Premier League game for Tottenham Hotspur , might be close to the exit door as the as Sao Paulo and former club Corinthians show interest in bringing him back home in Brazil.

Since Mauricio Pochettino took over as Tottenham manager, the midfielder has fallen down the pecking order and has become increasingly frustrated with his minimal playing time. The fact that the Brazilian is yet to make his first Premier League start of the season suggests that he might not be a part of Pochettino’s plans.

The 26-year old moved to London in 2013 after Tottenham coughed up £17 million to acquire his services. His former club, Corianthans are said to be interested in bringing the midfielder back home to Brazil. Reports have suggested that, also showing interest in signing Paulinho are another Brazilian club Sao Paulo.

Paulinho commands wages scaling to £70,000-a-week, which could prove to be a barrier in any potential move but Corinthians sporting director Edu Gaspar said: “The door is open for Paulinho as he is still very popular here. I don’t think the financial package would be an issue.”

Paulinho has started just four games, none of which were in the Premier League, under new head coach Mauricio Pochettino and made 5 appearances from the bench. Despite the lack of Paulinho’s playtime and the diminishing possibility of him being a pivotal part of Pochettino’s plans, the Tottenham boss had previously said there is “no chance” of the midfielder leaving White Hart Lane in January as the club try to help the 26-year-old perform to the level that convinced Spurs to spend £17 million on him in July 2013.

However, it seems like a move to Sao Paulo or Corinthians may prove to be a practical decision for all parties. At 26, Paulinho has a lot of football left in him and he needs to get his touch back as soon as possible. The midfielder also is not very young and cannot afford to spend most of his time warming the bench. First team football is something that he needs if he wishes to have a long career. The midfielder was an integral part of Brazil’s World Cup squad but also was one of the players dropped by new Brazil coach Dunga after the World Cup. If he wishes to revive his international career, a move away from Tottenham seems ideal at the moment.