In a statement on the Corinthians website today, club President Mario Gobbi Filho stated that Tottenham Hotspur target Paulinho will be leaving Corinthians. He did not, however, say where the midfielder will be headed. The statement reads in part:
Com a saída iminente de Paulinho, confiamos no futebol dos outros volantes que estão sendo preparados há algum tempo, como Guilherme e Edenílson, ou mesmo no recém-contratado Ibson. Acreditamos que eles possam assumir a posição, assim como aconteceu com o próprio Paulinho no lugar do Jucilei. Ou mesmo com o Jucilei na vaga do Elias.
If you plug that into the Google machine that basically translates to, "With the imminent departure of Paulihno we trust that other players like Guilherme and Edenilson are ready to step up for the team."
So, there you go. Corinthians are resigned to the fact that Paulinho is leaving. That doesn't mean he's coming to Tottenham or that any sort of deal has been agreed, it just seems to indicate that the club know their player is in high demand and that he will eventually leave.
Earlier today, rumors circulated that Corinthians would attempt to hold on to Paulinho until mid July, after their matches against Sao Paulo. This doesn't exactly quash those reports, but, in my mind at least, it does make them slightly less likely. The only concern now is that if Tottenham don't have a deal agreed already, that another team could swoop in and sign the player. However, chances of that seem to be pretty slim at this point.
In the end this seems like a good sign. In our usual dealings with Brazilian clubs (read: Internacional) the club's reluctance to part with the player has scuppered any deal. This time around it appears that the club will be reasonable and allow their player to depart.