Barcelona are reportedly ready to step up their pursuit of Paulinho and are set to table a €25 million bid for the Brazilian midfielder.
Spanish publication Sport have reported that Barcelona are ready to go all out in their pursuit of Paulinho. The Catalan club are set to table an offer worth €25 million to Guangzhou Evergrande to land the Brazilian midfielder in the summer transfer window.
Paulinho has revived his career since joining Guangzhou Evergrande from Tottenham in the summer of 2015. The player had blown hot and cold during his two-year spell at White Hart Lane, eventually becoming a bit part player under Mauricio Pochettino.
The story at Guangzhou though, has been completely the opposite for Paulinho – he has been a key figure in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s squad, helping them clinch back-to-back league titles. And the 28-year-old has continued performing admirably this season as well, having notched up 10 goals and 4 assists in 24 appearances across all competitions.
Paulinho: “It’s possible that I will play at Barcelona among a number of star players. I could become part of a club full of stars.” pic.twitter.com/TryV8MfU53
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) July 8, 2017
His exploits for Guangzhou have also helped Paulinho reclaim his place back in the Brazilian national side. On top of that, the player is also attracting interest from European clubs, with Barcelona, in particular, keen on signing him this summer.
The Catalan club endured an underwhelming campaign in the 2016/17 season as they finished runners up to Real Madrid in La Liga while bowing out of the UEFA Champions League in the Quarter-Finals. Following a post season examination, midfield has reportedly been identified as one of the problem areas.
Thus, newly appointed Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has been hard in search of a top midfielder to add to his squad this summer. His primary target is believed to be Marco Verratti. But, there are complications in the pursuit of the Italian midfielder and the move is unlikely to see the light of the day.
Therefore, Valverde has been forced to turn his attention towards backup options, with Paulinho emerging as a key target. However, their first offer of €20 million was swiftly turned down by Guangzhou, with the player’s release clause standing at €40 million.
Barcelona have now submitted their second offer for the Brazil international, and they are firm that they will not bid any higher than €25 million. Guangzhou manager, though, is unwilling to let Paulinho leave for any offer even though he has admitted that the club would politely consider any offers which arrived.
Barcelona remain confident that they will be able to secure the player’s services. The Blaugrana have already agreed personal terms with Paulinho and talks with Guangzhou seem to progressing nicely. It now remains to be seen if they are able to land the player this summer.