Barcelona midfielder Paulinho has returned to Guangzhou Evergrande on a season-long loan just a year after making the move in the opposite direction.
The Brazil international started all his nation’s games at the World Cup and has now rejoined Guangzhou after leaving the Chinese Super League club to move to the Nou Camp last summer.
The LaLiga champions announced the deal on their website, confirming Guangzhou have an option to sign the 29-year-old former Tottenham man on a permanent deal.
“FC Barcelona and Guangzhou Evergrande have reached an agreement for the loan transfer of Paulinho Bezerra for one season, with a subsequent purchase option for the Chinese club,” a statement on the Barcelona website read.
“Barça publicly expresses its gratitude to Paulinho for his commitment and dedication and wishes him luck and success in the future.
Paulinho made 49 appearances for Barça and scored nine goals, all in La Liga. The Brazilian midfielder debuted on August 26, 2017 in Barça’s 2-0 league triumph at Alavés. Paulinho’s first goal with Barça came in his fourth match, and was the game-winner in the 84th minute of a 2-1 come-from-behind victory at Getafe.
Paulinho stood out as an attacking midfielder who easily made his way into the opposition penalty area. He also made key contributions defensively throughout the season.
In fact, his performances at Barça were key to him being called to play for Brazil in the 2018 World Cup, where he has been a mainstay for ‘La Canarinha’.