There's nothing more fun than the stupidly complex and irredeemably unscrupulous economic world of professional football and its transfer season, and there's nothing that improves transfer season like the reporting standards of most major European newspapers.
Today we have an actual reporter for a relatively good newspaper providing us with real information--and it's still maddeningly un-sourced, non-specific and open-ended.
Simon Johnson, writing for the London Evening Standard, reports that timing issues may hold up Tottenham Hotspur's planned acquisition of Corinthians midfielder Paulinho. He says that the Brazilian side would like Paulinho to remain with the club through some of their major summer fixtures, while Tottenham would like to get the deal signed and their man in training as soon as possible.
Paulinho is expected to complete the transfer after the Confederations Cup, which finishes on Sunday.
But Corinthians hope he will play for them in the two-legged equivalent of the UEFA Super Cup against rivals Sao Paulo on July 3 and 17.
Tottenham are keen for Paulinho to miss the tie and complete his transfer to north London as soon as possible, particularly amid reports that Real Madrid are considering making a late bid for him.
It all hinges on what "hope" and "expected" mean, and on how much we can trust Johnson's unspecified sources. Will Corinthians delay making the transfer at all if Tottenham holds the line at an immediate move to England? Will Corinthians attempt to negotiate something like a short loan at the beginning of the deal? Is this an attempt to back out of the deal, perhaps in order to wring a larger fee from richer club? Is this a thing at all?
No one knows. Without any clear sourcing for the claims about the deal's expectations and the Brazilian club's hopes, we can say nothing beyond, hey, this could be bad, but maybe not.