Paulinho is heading to White Hart Lane. Well, he is if you believe the Mail and Telegraph, both of whom have Spurs wrapping up a deal with Corinthians for the Brazilian midfielder.
According to the Mail, the deal is done for £17 million and Corinthians have confirmed it, while the Telegraph says that the fee has been agreed to at more than £15 million. Other reports cited a £17 million release clause in Paulinho's contract so that appears to be the top end of the scale for this transfer.
This news is hardly out of the blue. Corinthians' sporting director Edu confirmed to UOL yesterday that the deal was moving along, although he did say there was more work to be done.
"The situation is well underway," Edu said. "We have to agree on some details of the negotiation, so I can't say he will leave yet, but the negotiations are good."
Individually, the Mail and Telegraph are good for a laugh, but together, along with Edu's quotes from yesterday, make this believable.
Andre Villas-Boas is known to fancy Paulinho and for good reason. He's a talented midfielder that can step in from Day 1 and be Spurs' best central midfielder. Moreover, he is versatile enough that he can fit in at Tottenham whether they stick with the 4-2-3-1 or transition to a 4-3-3.
It looks like Spurs are going to snap up a Brazil starter in 24-year-old Paulinho for £17 million. Beats the hell out paying £30 million for his 28-year-old backup Fernandinho.