Barcelona have had a €20 million bid for ex-Tottenham midfielder Paulinho rejected by Guangzhou Evergrande.
The Chinese Super League club released a statement on Thursday revealing the Spanish club had made a formal approach for the Brazilian but that they had no intention of selling.
“Paulinho, having already renewed his contract in January 2017, is an important player for our club’s the long-term project,” Guangzhou Evergrande said.
“Therefore, our club have given a formal response to the Barcelona football club that we reject their bid for Paulinho, who is not in our transfer plan whatsoever.
“We’d like to express our gratitude to Barcelona who have reserved a high degree of admiration for Paulinho.”
According to reports in China, Barcelona would look to pay the €20m fee for Paulinho in instalments, rather than all up front.
Evergrande, though, had no interest in discussing a deal of any kind and have made it clear that the 28-year-old is not on the market.
They acquired the Brazil international from Tottenham in June 2015 for a reported £9.9m.
Paulinho has been a success in China, netting 27 times in 89 appearances as his form has improved for club and country.
He revealed in June to Globo Esporte that he had been contacted by Barca regarding a possible return to Europe.
Paulinho said: “There was contact with my agent, yes. There was an offer, yes, and this is all talking. But today I find myself at a very happy moment in my life and in my career.
“When you meet at a time like this it is difficult for you to decide.”