Barcelona hero Rivaldo has encouraged his former club to complete the signing of former Tottenham Hotspur flop Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande ahead of the new 2017-2018 campaign.
The La Liga giants have already bolstered the back-line and the attack with the additions of Nelson Semedo from Benfica and Gerard Deulofeu from Everton. Furthermore, they have also activated an option to make Marlon Santos’ loan move from Fluminense permanent after the Brazilian centre-back impressed with the second team during the 2016-2017 campaign.
However, Barcelona are yet to sign any midfielder even though it has been widely reported that new manager Ernesto Valverde wants to strengthen the position with both Paris Saint Germain star Marco Verratti and Paulinho.
Earlier this week club technical secretary Robert Fernandez refused to give any update of the situation, but did confirm that the Catalans are looking to sign a versatile midfielder.
“It would be convenient for (the new signing) to be a midfielder who can play in all three positions, in the right, the left and in the middle [as a holding midfielder]. Playing in only one position would makes it difficult for him to have regular time,” the Barcelona technical secretary told a press conference on Monday (17 July).
Some have questioned whether 28-year-old Paulinho has what it takes to succeed alongside Lionel Messi and co after his disappointing spell playing for Tottenham. However, Rivaldo believes that his compatriot with be a great addition for his former side.
“Paulinho is a great player. He has a lot of talent,” the former Barcelona hero told Mundo Deportivo. “I do not know the state of the negotiations with Barcelona, whether the transfer is done or not, but if he signs, he will be a very good recruit.”
Yet, Mundo Deportivo is suggesting that Rivaldo may need to wait to see Paulinho with the Barcelona shirt after the Catalans had already had two offers rejected by Guangzhou to sign the Brazilian international.
The Chinese outfit are said to be demanding his €40m (£35.5m, $46m) release clause to cash in on Paulinho while Barcelona’s latest bid was only worth €25m plus further €2m in add-ons.
Guangzhou don’t want to part ways with the player this summer as the Chinese transfer window is already closed and they won’t be able to sign a replacement.
Meanwhile, Valverde would like to add him to his squad this summer but Mundo Deportivo says that Barcelona are considering delaying his arrival until January as they believe that Guangzhou then could be open to negotiating a cut-price fee.