Paulinho to Barcelona. The strangest deal of the summer.
Those who watched him flounder at Spurs will know that he’s not the calibre of player required to wrestle La Liga from the hands of Real Madrid’s world class midfield.
But if Madrid have it their own way Paulinho won’t be ending up anywhere near Barcelona this summer.
Allow us to explain.
Guangzhou Evergrande’s president Xu Jiayin is friends with Madrid president Florentino Perez, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Madrid and Evergrande share a football school, training around 2,5000 children each day, and both clubs have links to each other’s websites on their own sites.
Mundo’s report doesn’t go further than that, so should be taken with a heavy pinch of salt, but there’s no denying that Barcelona are struggling to get the deal over the line.
Barcelona’s £20million bid for the former Spurs midfielder was rejected, with Evergrande maintaining that they won’t sell until January.
Evergrande are in a battle for the Chinese Super League this season, leading Shanghai SIPG by one point at the top of the table.
Paulinho has been a key player for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side this season, so it’s highly unlikely that he’ll leave unless Barcelona table a giant offer.
Why don’t they try Benoit Assou-Ekotto instead?