Paulinho to move from Barcelona to Guangzhou

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 13 (IANS) Barcelona have struck a deal to sign Brazilian midfielder Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande, according to media reports.

The Catalan side agreed to meet Paulinho’s 40 million-euro release clause after weeks of negotiations with the Chinese Super League club, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday citing the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.

It added that Guangzhou Evergrande’s Brazilian coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, confirmed the transfer.

The news of the deal comes less than two weeks after Paulinho’s compatriot Neymar departed the Camp Nou in a world record 222 million euro ($262.41 million) transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

Paulinho has been in sublime form this year, scoring 12 goals in 29 matches for his club across all competitions.

Guangzhou currently lead the Chinese Super League standings and are in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League.

Paulinho also shone at the international level in the past year, and scored a hat-trick in Brazil’s 4-1 victory over Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier in March.

Before joining Guangzhou Evergrande in 2015, the former Corinthians star spent two seasons at Tottenham Hotspur, the last of which saw him make only seven starts.

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