Barcelona have had a bid in the region of €20m rejected by Guangzhou Evergrande for Brazilian international Paulinho, say reports.
The 28-year-old first revealed in June that the Blaugrana had made contact over a possible move to the club, but whilst he would not personally rule it out, he would not force a move from China.
“Paulinho, having already renewed his contract in January 2017, is an important player for our club's the long-term project,” the Chinese club said.
“Therefore, our club have given a formal response to the Barcelona football club that we reject their bid for Paulinho, who is not in our transfer plan whatsoever.
“We'd like to express our gratitude to Barcelona who have reserved a high degree of admiration for Paulinho.”
A regular in Brazil’s team – scoring nine international goals in 41 caps – Paulinho was said to be a Barca target in 2013, but by that stage he already had an agreement in place to join Tottenham from Corinthians.
Since moving to China in 2014, Paulinho has helped his side to six trophies whilst strengthening his position in the Brazil national team.
Described as a box-to-box midfielder, he could be an ideal fit for the Blaugrana who are reportedly planning to sell both Arda Turan and Andre Gomes this summer.