Guangzhou Evergrande confirm Paulinho’s Barcelona move

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Former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho has joined Spanish giants Barcelona for €40 million (£36.5 million).

The transfer was confirmed by Guangzhou Evergrande manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, who praised Paulinho for his efforts at club and international level.

“Paulinho is a player with high individual quality, he is an outstanding player, both for his club and for the national team,” said Scolari.

Barcelona offered an initial €19 million (£17 million) for Paulinho in July, but have been forced to significantly improve their offer for the Brazil international, ultimately activating his release clause.

“The high price paid by Barcelona in order to sign him is a strong recognition of Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club.”

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Paulinho joined Guangzhou Evergrande for €14 million (£9.9 million) in 2015 from Tottenham. He has gone on to win two league titles, an FA Cup, two FA Super Cups and the AFC Champions League in his 95 appearances for the club.

“We wish him all the best and that he can embrace a bright future.”

Paulinho’s two-year spell in China has returned more than just goals and club honours; he’s earned his way back into the Brazil national team set-up and looks set to feature at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Additionally, he’s gone from a Tottenham fringe player to a target, and now signing, of one of the biggest clubs in world football.

Barcelona kicked off their 2017/18 season with a disappointing 3-1 loss to rivals Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup, and will try to redeem themselves in Wednesday’s second leg.

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