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Barcelona agree €40m Paulinho deal as midfielder bids farewell to team-mates

15:25 BST 12/08/2017
Paulinho Brazil 2016
The La Liga giants have reached an agreement with Guangzhou Evergrande which will see the Brazil international midfielder return to Europe from China

Paulinho has said goodbye to his Guangzhou Evergrande team-mates as he nears a €40 million move to Barcelona, Goal can confirm.

Goal revealed in June that the 29-year-old had emerged as a top target for the Camp Nou club, but a protracted chase saw three offers from Catalonia knocked back, with the most recent one totalling €25m.

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Barca have refused to give up in their pursuit, though, and despite Guangzhou's desire to hold on to Paulinho, are set to snap him up after putting together a package which meets the release clause in his contract.

The midfielder bid farewell to everyone at Guangzhou after Saturday's training session and will miss their next match against Henan Jianye as he will be flying out to Spain on Sunday for his medical.

Having made a move in the summer of 2015, Paulinho won two league titles, two Super Cups, one domestic cup and the AFC Champions League during his time in Asia. 

Thursday's 3-0 win over Liaoning Whowin, in which he opened the scoring, will be his last game for the side.

He will be hoping to add to that trophy collection with Barca in 2017-18.

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Ernesto Valverde has invested a sizeable chunk of the funds brought in from the record-breaking €222m sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in Paulinho and will be demanding an immediate return.

The Samba star struggled to produce his best during a spell at Spurs between 2013 and 2015 but has enjoyed an upturn in form for club and country in recent times.

Bayern Munich were keen on snapping him up at one stage, with Carlo Ancelotti holding talks with the player, but no formal discussions were opened and Paulinho is now heading to Barcelona.