Paulinho reveals Barcelona offer

Paulinho says Barcelona have made an approach for his services as the Camp Nou club explore options to strengthen their midfield.
Barcelona have made an offer to sign Paulinho from Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande, the Brazil midfielder has claimed. Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has been heavily linked with Barca in one of the close- season's biggest transfer sagas, but Paulinho is another option for the Camp Nou club with new head coach Ernesto Valverde reportedly keen to strengthen in the middle of the park. The 28-year-old, who signed a new contract in January until 2020 after Guangzhou made it clear he was crucial to their plans, denied reports last month that suggested Bayern Munich had made an offer for him. But he was proud to discuss an approach from Barca, even though he concedes their interest could leave him with a difficult decision to make. "They made contact with my agent and there is an offer on the table," Paulinho told Globoesporte. "It makes me feel happy that a great club like Barcelona is interested in me – that's priceless. I haven't been given a date to give my reply; I speak to my agent every day. "But Barca and my club would need to sit down and talk about it and reach some kind of arrangement. The two parties are talking." Paulinho continued: "Right now I am in a very happy moment of my life and in my career so it is difficult for me to decide. "I would have to weigh up a lot of things before making a decision – first of all I have to consider what my wife would say – we live well in China. "We like life here – we like the place, the people, on the sporting side we are battling to become champions of Asia." When reports of Barca's interest initially surfaced this week, Guangzhou boss Luiz Felipe Scolari insisted the club are reluctant to sell Paulinho, particularly given the new Chinese tax rules which will make signing an overseas replacement more expensive, and flagged up his €40milion release clause. Paulinho has won two Chinese Super League titles and the AFC Champions League having impressed since signing for Guangzhou from Tottenham in 2015 and has returned to the Brazil squad following the appointment of Tite, his former coach at Corinthians.

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