Catalan football giants FC Barcelona on Monday announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Paulinho on a four-year contract from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande. The Catalans wanted to strengthen their midfield after Iniesta's age and injuries started playing a crucial role. Ernesto Valverde had an eye on the Brazilian from the beginning of the transfer window this summer but had two bids turned down by the Chinese club.
The 29-year-old Paulinho, whose transfer cost 40 million euros ($47 million), is set to undergo a medical test prior to signing the contract on Thursday as media reports suggested. The former Tottenham Hotspurs midfielder left the English league on a money move to China in 2015. The Chinese clubs had captured many football stars such as Oscar, Hulk, Martinez and Carlos Tevez who is currently the highest paid footballer in the world with £615,000 per week.
Paulinho's contract is set to include a buyout clause worth up to 120 million euros ($142 million).
Paulinho is the fourth player to join Barcelona this transfer window, following defenders Nelson Semedo and Marlon Santos and forward Gerard Deulofeu.
The announcement came hours after Barcelona were defeated 1-3 by Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup at their home stadium, Camp Nou.
FC Barcelona have also set their eyes on Christian Eriksen from Tottenham Hotspurs if Phillipe Coutinho from Liverpool or Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund deals don't workout.
(With IANS Inputs).