Bayer Leverkusen has beaten a host of European giants to the signing of Vasco da Gama wonderkid Paulinho.
Bayer Leverkusen have beaten a host of European giants to the signing of Vasco da Gama wonderkid Paulinho.
The Bundesliga club took to their official social media outlets to reveal that the 17-year-old had penned a five-year contract with them despite strong interest from the likes of Premier League champions Manchester City.
Paulinho has set Leverkusen back around £17.5m, and his arrival will be seen as a major coup with other heavyweights such as Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid also thought to have held an interest in him.
Paulinho has been dubbed as one of the most exciting prospects to emerge in Brazilian football for some time, and he had been expected to link up with City after his agent was spotted holding talks with the club's hierarchy about a move to the Premier League.
However, Leverkusen have since pipped Pep Guardiola's team to his signature and will officially unveil the attacker when he turns 18 years of age in July.
Paulinho is able to play up front as a striker or on either wing and will add depth to the German side's squad under manager Heiko Herrlich.
The Rio de Janeiro-born footballer would have had the opportunity to work with a world class manager in Guardiola, or other reputable names such as Diego Simeone with Atletico or rumoured new PSG gaffer Thomas Tuchel if he had opted for any of those options.
But Paulinho has instead decided to cut his teeth with Leverkusen and shouldn't miss out on playing Champions League football with them if Bayer manage to hold on to their top four spot before the end of the season.
Paulinho has made 24 senior appearances for Vasco during his first couple of campaigns as a first-team regular, and has netted five goals and three assists during that time.