Barcelona’s Paulinho returns to China's Guangzhou

Tuesday, 10 Jul, 2018

Barcelona midfielder Paulinho rejoins Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande on a season-long loan deal.

The 29-year-old, who signed from the Chinese Super League side last August, scored nine goals in 21 LaLiga starts during a successful season at Camp Nou in which Barcelona won a LaLiga and Copa del Rey double.

"The level of the Super League has improved year by year and the development prospects are very good", Paulinho told Guangzhou's website.

Paulinho rose to prominence in his homeland for Sao Paulo-based Corinthians before he moved to Tottenham in 2013.

His form, coupled with the sizeable transfer fee spent just a year ago made the announcement of the 12-month loan all the more puzzling.

Previously, Paulinho, who turns 30 on July 25, helped Guangzhou to three consecutive league titles and an Asian Champions League crown during his previous spell in China.

"I hope to bring more championships to Guangzhou and Guangzhou fans".

The Brazil worldwide, who helped his country reach the 2018 World Cup quarter-finals, was a surprise signing for the Blaugrana in 2017 after a two-and-a-half-year stint in China.

Although the total amount of 88m euros reflects a negative moment in Guangzhou Evergrande's budget, the team have also suffered on field during the Brazilian's absence.

However, the absence of Paulinho next season could prove to be a huge blow for Ernesto Valverde's men. But, with Paulinho's departure to China and Yerry Mina's potential exit, it could open the door for future signings.