Guangzhou Evergrande’s Paulinho will not be moving to Barcelona this summer, according to his coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Barca’s sporting director Robert Fernandez has said the club will make “big-name signings” over the close season and they are reported to want a right-back, a central midfielder and a forward.
Marco Verratti is said to be their primary midfield target, but it has been claimed this week that they are also in talks to sign former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho.
However, Scolari denied any interest from Barca in the Brazil international, saying that he “would know about it” if they did want to sign him and adding that he is not for sale anyway.
“Paulinho will not leave Guangzhou,” he told Mundo Deportivo. “He has a release clause of €40 million.
“And at the moment it’s not easy for Chinese teams to lose a big player because it’s difficult and expensive to sign a replacement with the new taxes that we have to pay.”
Paulinho, 28, joined Guangzhou from Spurs in 2015 for €14m after making 67 appearances for the Premier League side during two years in England.
In China, he has scored 25 goals in 87 appearances and has re-emerged as a key player for Brazil under new coach Tite, scoring a hat trick in a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay earlier this year.