Until not too long ago, Tottenham were believed to be the team closest to signing Paulinho from Corinthians, but the Brazilian midfielder might end up signing for Chelsea, trying to make a last minute move and change the direction of the deal.
The 24 year old has become an integral part of the national team’s lineup under Scolari, also scoring a goal in the opening match against Japan. He impressed many when he played against Chelsea in the Club World Cup Final in a rare win for a South American team in the tournament.
Tottenham looked like they had everything all wrapped up, with Paulinho himself revealing that his club received an offer from Spurs, but Chelsea have now stepped up their negotiations for the player, with Mourinho giving the OK to try and bring the man referred to as the new prototype for the Brazilian central midfielder, showing his attacking ability through strength, speed and fitness instead of technique and dribbling.
Roma and Real Madrid have also been mentioned as candidates to make a bid for the player, who prefers not to discuss these things while Brazil and he are still involved in the Confederations Cup, playing against Uruguay in the semifinal.
This scenario is very similar to the situation that eventually brought Oscar (from Internacional) to Chelsea last season. The young Brazilian midfielder was on his way to QPR just before the London Olympics, but Chelsea decided to step in and change the deal to their direction, eventually succeeding in securing the huge talent.
Paulinho has already been capped 15 times for the national team, scoring 4 goals, and has played 86 times for Corinthians, scoring 20 goals. While his is usually a central role, for his club at least he tends to find himself arriving in the box quite often, something he does a lot less frequently for the national team.