Reported Paulinho sale: Are Tottenham Hotspur about to pull off the deal of the summer?

Tottenham are close to selling Paulinho - for £15 million.

Tottenham Hotspur have been searching for a buyer for Paulinho - and may just have struck gold.

The Mail reported last night how Chinese club Guangzhao Evergrande want to pay £15 million for the midfielder. Unsurprisingly Spurs are likely to snap their hands off.

All chairman Daniel Levy would need then is a mask, and a black and white jumper, because he would be getting what could be the deal of the summer.

£15 million is an astounding bid for a player whose market value has depreciated greatly since he signed from Corinthians two seasons ago.

It must be remember Tottenham did pay £17 million for him, but that was in the context of competition from Chelsea and Serie A clubs, his inclusion in the Brazil squad, and having played a key part in Corinthians winning the Club World Cup.

Ever since signing for Spurs, Paulinho's career has gone downhill. There has arguably been an element of mismanagement in that, but he has not done enough on a regular basis to win a starting spot - and fans would rather see £5 million mid-season addition Dele Alli given a chance to sign next year instead.

The most enduring image of Paulinho's time at Spurs may land up being his fluffed shot against Burnley late in the season, which left fans puzzled as to just how badly he got it wrong.

The drop off from his first to second season in the Premier League can be seen in the statistics - and his lack of appearances compared to his debut campaign.

  SeasonDribbles per gameKey Passes per gameInterceptions per gameSuccessful Final Third Passes per gameWon Tackles per gameGoalsAssistsAppearancesMins Played
Paulinho 2013-2014 0.83 0.73 1.07 9.97 1.73 6 2 30 2,381
Paulinho 2014-2015 0.33 0.27 0.33 4.53 1.07 0 1 15 479

The Mail had reported a day earlier that Paulinho's most likely escape route from Spurs would be a loan move to Watford.

The connection to Guangzhao Evergrande is former Brazil boss Felipe Scolari, who may just be able to get the best out of him, regardless of the standard of league, while the player can expect to land a hefty pay packet.

If Spurs can tie up a deal to receive £15 million and him off their wage bill permanently, it will go down as another piece of Daniel Levy genius - even if it just serves to cancel out the failed venture in buying Paulinho in the first place.

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