Barcelona's Paulinho bid rejected as Guangzhou rule out transfer

Guangzhou Evergrande has thanked Barcelona for its interest in Paulinho, but rejected its offer for the Brazil midfielder.

FC Barelona had its bid rejected for Guangzhou Evergrande's midfielder Paulinho.   -  Getty Images

Barcelona has had an offer for Paulinho rejected by Guangzhou Evergrande, with the Chinese Super League club ruling out a sale.

Paulinho revealed Barca had made a bid for him last month, reportedly worth €20million, but the champion of China has been consistent in its desire to keep the Brazil midfielder.

The 28-year-old signed a new contract in January, tying him to Guangzhou until 2020 and the club stress he remains crucial to its plans.

"Paulinho, having already renewed his contract in January 2017, is an important player for our club's long-term project," Guangzhou said in a statement on Thursday.

"Therefore, our club have given a formal response to Barcelona that we reject their bid for Paulinho.

"We would like to express our gratitude to Barcelona who have reserved a high degree of admiration for our club as well as our player."

Paulinho has won two Chinese Super League titles and the AFC Champions League having impressed since signing for Guangzhou from Tottenham in 2015 and has returned to the Brazil squad following the appointment of Tite, his former coach at Corinthians.

Barca's only signing so far ahead of the 2017-18 season has been Gerard Deulofeu, for whom it had a buy-back clause.