Tottenham Hotspur have landed Brazil international Paulinho. The 24-year old midfielder joins Spurs from Corinthians in an estimated £17m deal.
The move was confirmed by Corinthians’ director of football Roberto de Andrade during a special press conference on Monday. “I can confirm now, that Paulinho will be a Tottenham player.”
An emotional Paulinho expressed his gratitude for his time at Corinthians: “It’s difficult to talk right now. All I can say is that these were three wonderful years in my career. Years of conquests, years of working with great people who always helped me. What I have to say to Corinthians is I will be back. In a little while I’ll be back. For all you’ve done for me.”
“I’m certain I’ve made a great decision, I’ll be going to another big club. There’s a time when you just need a new challenge,” said the 24-year old Brazil international.
Paulinho was a long-standing target for Spurs head coach André Villas-Boas, who was looking for a box-to-box type midfielder to add to his midfield options. Tottenham were not the only club impressed by the Brazilian’s consistently solid performances, with Roma and Inter both being long-term admirers. But in the end Tottenham were the only club to make a concrete offer.
“The only other offer that came in was from Inter a while ago but recently there was none, just Tottenham’s. The offer came in, we sat down, I studied it and agreed it was a good offer.”
Indications that the deal was done intensified last week after Corinthians president Mário Gobbi Filho described Paulinho’s departure as “imminent”. Paulinho was also quoted as saying: “I couldn’t turn them down if they made me an offer. It would be a fantastic opportunity to play for Tottenham.”
Spanish sport tabloid Marca claimed Real Madrid were intent on hijacking Paulinho’s move to Spurs, although this later was dismissed by the player himself: “It’s not true about Real Madrid, the only offer that has come is from Tottenham.”
The Brazilian midfielder played a key role in Corinthians’ recent successes. Last year the club from São Paulo won both the Copa Libertadores and the FIFA Club World Cup, beating Boca Juniors and Chelsea in the final respectively.
Paulinho made his debut for the Brazilian national team in September 2011. He has made 16 appearances for the Seleçao so far, scoring 6 goals. Paulinho netted twice at the Confederations Cup last week, scoring in Brazil’s 3-0 win over Japan and scoring the winning goal in their 2-1 win against Uruguay.