Report: Villas-Boas failed in January bid to reunite with Tottenham misfit Paulinho at Zenit

Zenit St. Petersburg reportedly failed in a bid to sign Tottenham midfielder Paulinho in January.

According to Brazilian paper Lance, Zenit St. Petersburg manager Andre Villas-Boas failed in a bid to sign Tottenham midfielder Paulinho in January.

Villas-Boas, 37, lasted just 17 months as Tottenham manager between July 2012 and December 2013, losing his job after a 5-0 demolition at the hands of Liverpool at White Hart Lane.

The former Chelsea boss paid the price for poor signings in the summer of 2013, bringing in the likes of Vlad Chiriches, Etienne Capoue, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado, with Spurs struggling to get much out of those players, save for Chadli and Eriksen.

The Portuguese boss has been back in management for over a year now having been appointed Zenit St. Petersburg manager in March 2014, and currently has the club eight points clear at the top of the Russian Premier League.

Despite the lack of success at Spurs, it seems that Villas-Boas wanted to reunite with one of those signings, with Brazilian newspaper Lance reporting that 'AVB' failed in a bid to sign Paulinho.

The Brazilian midfielder, 26, has started just three Premier League games under Mauricio Pochettino this season, slipping behind youngsters Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason in the pecking order at White Hart Lane.

A summer departure would be no surprise given his lack of first-team action this season, but Lance believe that Spurs blocked an approach from Villas-Boas to sign Paulinho in January.

With loan midfielders Alex Pritchard, Tom Carroll and Dele Alli set to return to North London this summer, Paulinho could slip even further down the pecking order under Pochettino - and Lance even add that German side Borussia Dortmund are also interested in a deal for the midfielder this summer.

It remains to be seen whether Zenit and Villas-Boas return with another bid for Paulinho, but with questions over the future of midfielder Axel Witsel, he could be seen as a replacement for the Belgian at the end of the season - though whether Spurs chairman Daniel Levy would be willing to deal with the former Spurs boss is another question.

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