Barcelona are reportedly ready to offload Paulinho in the summer, just one season into the Brazilian’s stint at Camp Nou.
According to a report by Spanish outlet Don Balon, Barcelona may have just reclaimed the La Liga title, but Ernesto Valverde is already laying down the plans for the summer transfer window. The manager has drawn up a list of players who need to be sold before next season – a list which features Paulinho.
Paulinho joined Barcelona last summer after a successful two-year stint with Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande, when he helped them to back-to-back league titles. At Camp Nou, the player initially fit in quickly and perfectly, becoming a key player in Ernesto Valverde’s squad.
In fact, in the first half of the season, Paulinho was one of the first names on the team sheet, impressing with his ability to drive forward his side’s attack and be available as a scoring outlet inside the opposition box. Since the turn of the year though, things haven’t been easy for the player.
In recent months, Paulinho has lost his place in the middle of the park, a position that has been assumed by Ivan Rakitic, with the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho taking up the wide areas. As a result, the 29-year-old has become a bit-part player at Barcelona, largely restricted to appearances off the bench in recent weeks.
Nevertheless, amassing 47 appearances in one’s debut Barcelona season is nothing short of impressive, and something to build upon. But, Paulinho’s time at Camp Nou could come to an end after just one season.
Valverde is drawing up a list of potential outgoings in the summer transfer window, as he looks to create a solid Barcelona squad that will be able to become genuine Champions League contenders in addition to defending the La Liga and Copa del Rey titles. The Brazil international features on this list, and he might just stand in good stead should he leave the club.
Midfield seems to be an area Valverde seems intent on bolstering despite the addition of Arthur, who will join the squad in the summer transfer window. The arrival of two midfielders ahead of the 2018-19 season will stack up the Barcelona midfield, which will only worsen the Brazilian’s predicament.
So, while Valverde would like to offload Paulinho to make room for the potential incoming midfielders, a move away from Barcelona could help the Brazilian secure regular game time next season. The article does not mention any interested club though, and it remains to be seen if any prominent outfit registers an interest in the player.