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August 14, 2017

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Evergrande’s Paulinho to join Barca in mega deal

BRAZIL and former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paulinho was traveling to Spain to complete a move to Barcelona yesterday after the Catalan club activated the Guangzhou Evergrande player’s buyout clause, Chinese media reported.

Barcelona, which needs reinforcements after the world-record transfer of Brazil forward Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain last week, will pay the 40 million euros (US$47.26 million) for the 29-year-old to end his two-year spell in the Chinese Super League.

Paulinho had recently been linked with a move to the Spanish side but Guangzhou chairman Xu Jiayin had denied that the former Corinthians midfielder would be sold after rejecting two previous bids.

Paulinho joined Guangzhou after a disappointing spell in the English Premier League with Spurs and has established himself as a key player for his Chinese club and his country. In March got a hat-trick as Brazil handed Uruguay a 4-1 defeat in a World Cup qualifier, while he has scored seven goals in the CSL and five in the AFC Champions League.

Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, has extended the suspension of talented forward Ousmane Dembele indefinitely after the 20-year-old France international skipped training last week amid speculation of a possible move to Barcelona.

The Bundesliga club said on Sunday it would keep Dembele’s ban for missing training in place after the player was told he was initially suspended until after Saturday’s German Cup first-round tie against amateurs Rielasingen-Arlen.

An initial Barcelona offer was rejected by Dortmund with club bosses saying it was too low. German media have estimated the price of a move at more than 100 million euros.


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