Brazil star desperate to return to Barcelona

Stefan Bienkowski
Neymar and Paulinho, Brazil

Neymar and Paulinho, Brazil

Brazilian midfielder Paulinho has revealed that he would seriously consider a return to Barcelona if the Spanish club were interested in re-signing him.

The 32-year-old player first joined the Catalan club in 2018 when Barca activated Paulinho’s release clause at Guangzhou Evergrande for €40 million.

However, after a single year in Spain, Paulinho then returned to the Chinese club on loan and eventually re-signed for them permanently when they bought him back for a reported €42 million.

The Brazil international had remained at the Chinese club until earlier this month, when COVID allowed Paulinho and Guangzhou to part ways through mutual agreement.

And now, as if to confuse matters even further, Paulinho has now stated that he’d happily re-join Barcelona just as he did Guangzhou.

"Barca are a team I know well,” said the midfielder in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.

"I spent an unforgettable year there, both at the club and in the city, and we won the league and the Copa del Rey.

“If I had another chance, and it was a good thing for both me and my family, I would be delighted [to return]."

Could Barca afford to sign Paulinho?

Having already signed Eric Garcia, Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay, there’s no doubt that Barca have already been extremely proactive in this summer’s transfer window.

However, the question remains as to whether the club could afford to re-sign a player that cost so much money in the first place and add him to their wage bill.

However, Paulinho was quick to point out that he’s well aware of the club’s fragile financial situation and would be willing to accept lower wages to return to Spain.

"For me, the issue of money or the duration of the contract wouldn’t be a problem, it never has been, and less so if Barca is the team that calls you,” said the midfielder.

"I already demonstrated this when I left Guangzhou [by going] there [and] charging much less than I received in China.

"I've never put money ahead of my career, so that wouldn't be a problem to go back there. Also, this time the club wouldn't have to pay a transfer [fee] for me."