Barcelona have had an offer for Paulinho rejected by Guangzhou Evergrande, with the Chinese Super League club ruling out a sale.
Paulinho revealed Barca had made a bid for him last month, reportedly worth €20million, but the champions of China have been consistent in their desire to keep the Brazil midfielder.
The 28-year-old signed a new contract in January, tying him to Guangzhou until 2020 and the club stress he remains crucial to their plans
“Paulinho, having already renewed his contract in January 2017, is an important player for our club’s long-term project,” Guangzhou said in a statement on Thursday.
“Therefore, our club have given a formal response to Barcelona that we reject their bid for Paulinho.
“We would like to express our gratitude to Barcelona who have reserved a high degree of admiration for our club as well as our player.”
Paulinho has won two Chinese Super League titles and the AFC Champions League having impressed since signing for Guangzhou from Tottenham in 2015 and has returned to the Brazil squad following the appointment of Tite, his former coach at Corinthians.
Barca’s only signing so far ahead of the 2017-18 season has been Gerard Deulofeu, for whom they had a buy-back clause.
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