Barcelona’s hopes of signing of former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho have taken a hit after Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande revealed they had rejected a bid for the 28-year-old.
Reports from various media outlets have suggested the Catalan giants bid €20 million for a player who made the move to China for €14 million two years ago.
And the Chinese Super League outfit has now made it clear their man is not for sale.
“Paulinho only signed a contract renewal in January 2017 and is an important part of the club’s long-term future,” their statement read.
“For that reason, the club has formally rejected Barcelona’s offer for him. We want to express our gratitude to Barcelona for holding him in such high esteem, but we don’t have any plans to sell.”
The player in question, Paulinho earlier this year put a move to Spain in doubt, when he suggested he was happy with life in China ahead of next year’s World Cup.
“When you’re in a situation like the one I’m in, it’s difficult to make a decision,” he said
“There are a lot of things that I have to weigh up, one of them being my happiness.
“I think, first of all, the way things are with my partner here in China… We really like where we are, the people, how things are with the club, the success. The truth is that I don’t know [what to do].”