Reports have emerged from the UK suggesting that Barcelona have completed the 40 million euro deal for midfielder Paulinho.
Coming from Guangzhou Evergrande, the Brazilian would be Barcelona’s third addition of the summer after bringing Gerard Deulofeu and Nelson Semedo to Catalonia.
Daily Mail claim that the transfer is complete with the Blaugrana handing over Paulinho’s 40m euro release clause.
However, sources close to the club insist the deal is yet to be completed and that they will not be announcing any new signing on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Ernesto Valverde would not be drawn into commenting on the speculation.
Instead, he deflected questions about the Brazilian midfielder by saying that he won’t be playing in Sunday evening’s Supercopa de Espana match against Real Madrid.
“I don’t have any proof of anything,” Valverde said when asked in Saturday’s press conference if Paulinho would indeed be joining the Catalan club.
“Lots of players’ names are mentioned for lots of clubs and it will be like that until August 31.
“For the moment there is nothing, or at least not that I’ve been informed of.
“I have a feeling that Paulinho will not be playing tomorrow night [against Real Madrid].”
Yet Paulinho was not the only Blaugrana target discussed in the press conference, with the coach also asked about Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Inigo Martinez.
“I have no knowledge of what players could come or of what goes on at other teams,” he said, when asked about Coutinho and Dembele’s actions over the past week.
However, the most unexpected reaction to Barca’s impending signing of Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande has come from the player himself.
Following his arrival at the club in the summer of 2015, Paulinho had never decided to open an account with Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
However, in an action that is difficult to interpret, the former Tottenham man decided a couple of hours after his move to Barcelona was made public that it was the opportune time to join Weibo.
He opened his account on the Chinese social media account ahead of his rumoured trip to Barcelona on Monday, where he is expected to seal his move to the Camp Nou.