Evergrande turn down Barca’s Paulinho bid

Guangzhou Evergrande have rejected Barcelona’s advances for Brazilian midfielder Paulinho.

The Primera Division side were keen to lure the 28-year-old former Corinthians and Tottenham Hotspur man to the Nou Camp, but his Chinese Super League side say Paulinho is too important for their team.

A bid of around €20million was reportedly made for the imposing midfielder who has excelled in China, and who signed a new contract in January until 2020.

A statement from Guangzhou read: "Paulinho, having already renewed his contract in January 2017, is an important player for our club's long-term project.

"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."