Paulinho close to 40m euro Barcelona move

Paulinho has lifted the Chinese Super League title with Guangzhou Evergrande in his first two seasons

Brazilian worldwide midfielder Paulinho is expected to become Barcelona's first signing since losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, according to widespread reports in the Spanish media on Saturday.

During his time in the Premier League, Brazilian midfielder Paulinho struggled to really make an impact in England, but after a successful stint in the Chinese Super League, the 29-year-old has just completed one of the shock deals of the summer.

After losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record fee of £198m, the Catalan Giants have a huge amount of money to spend on a replacement and on improvements in other areas of the squad.

Earlier this summer, Paulinho was sure his move to Barcelona was a done deal and spoke to Mundo Deportivo with that in mind.

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The ex-Corinthians star has been a key figure for Evergrande this season, with his goals vital in Luiz Felipe Scolari's side retaining their position at the top of the league as well as progressing to the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League. Guangzhou now lead the Chinese Super League standings and are in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League.

"It is Barcelona. I'm happy for him as we have been brothers for the last two years".

Paulinho failed to shine in his most recent spell in Europe during two years at Tottenham Hotspur before moving to Guangzhou in 2015.

Paulinho has also shone at worldwide 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.

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