Barcelona are set to pay Paulinho's €40m release clause to secure the signing of the Brazil international from Guangzhou Evergrande.
This is according to a report from AS which claims that the Catalans were forced into the aforementioned course of action, following Neymar's move to PSG nearing completion.
Guangzhou have been tough negotiators with regards to the talismanic Paulinho, rejecting a number of Barcelona's bids for the player. Barcelona saw a second bid worth €27 rejected by the Chinese side in mid-July. And Guangzhou stood firm on the €40 million figure stipulated in Paulinho's contract, which seems to have paid off.
While Barcelona are blessed with the likes of Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic in their squad, the Blaugrana lack viable back-up options in midfield. Andres Iniesta, now 33-years-old, has struggled to stay fit for extended periods of time. Moreover, Denis Suárez and Andre Gomes have failed to make an impression at the Nou Camp, since arriving last year.
In turn, Barcelona have been linked with a number of high profile midfielders. The Spanish giants have pursued Philippe Coutinho, but Liverpool's reluctance to part ways with the diminutive attacker has prevented a deal from being completed. Paulinho was also a reported option for Luis Enrique's side with Neymar having favored his fellow compatriot's arrival in Spain.
Barcelona recently won the International Champions Cup, triumphing over Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid. Lionel Messi et al also took on the likes of Juventus and Manchester United while on tour of the United States.
Barcelona are set to conclude their pre-season preparations with a match against Chapecoense at the Nou Camp.