Guangzhou Evergrande have confirmed the signing of Paulinho and everyone are caught confused. The midfielder was in Russia with Brazil at the World Cup and there was no rumours of him leaving Barcelona any time soon.
However, he dropped a bombshell after the South American side’s elimination from the World Cup. Following the defeat to Belgium, he said:
”I’m going to Barcelona to talk to my representative about this matter,” he told reporters. I have an offer from China and another from another club, although it is not certain that I will go. We have to talk.”– Paulinho
So the question arises, why are Barcelona letting go of Paulinho despite him having a good season with them?
The answer is very simple: they want to accommodate Arthur Melo in the team. Unlike the Premier League, La Liga has a restriction on the number of Non-EU players a club has.
Barcelona have Philippe Coutinho, Yerry Mina and Paulinho in the squad as Non-EU players and had to let go of one. Mina, the Colombian centre-back, was the favourite to leave but a stellar performance at the World Cup changed that for him.
Valverde now intends to keep him while there was no chance of the Camp Nou side letting go of Coutinho. Thus, it had to be Paulinho who had to make way for Melo and thus, he has been sent back to Guangzhou Evergrande.