Barcelona threaten legal action over Paulinho deal allegations

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The Catalan side have reacted angrily to the suggestion that there may be another motive behind their decision to make the move

Barcelona have threatened to take legal action over media allegations a company owned by club president Josep Maria Bartomeu will benefit from the La Liga giants signing Brazil midfielder Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao.

A deal worth €40 million for the 29-year-old to join Ernesto Valverde's squad was confirmed on Monday.

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The former Tottenham player will complete a medical and pen a reported four-year contract at Camp Nou on Thursday and, ahead of the signing ceremony, Barca released a statement to strongly deny an impropriety around the transfer.

A statement released by Barcelona read: "This morning FC Barcelona have requested a retraction [from] the authors of the article, as well as the media outlet that published the story, in which the president of the club, Josep Maria Bartomeu, is accused of having signed the player Paulinho Bezerra as part of a deal which favoured the interests of his company.

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"Given the false nature of this news story and the fact that it implies an illegal activity has taken place, if a retraction is not forthcoming both the club and the president as an individual will take the corresponding legal steps.

"These steps will include a specific request for damages incurred with regards to the image of the club."

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The statement added: "FC Barcelona will not tolerate false information to be published which may damage the club or those who form part of said club and it calls for professional responsibility from those who have made use of the story without corroborating the information published."

Barcelona will seek to overturn a 3-1 deficit when they take on Real Madrid in the second leg of the Supercopa de Espana on Wednesday before beginning their bid to regain the LaLiga title at home to Real Betis this weekend.

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