Barcelona use some of Neymar transfer cash to acquire Paulinho

Midfielder becomes third signing for Spanish club since exit of fellow Brazilian to Paris Saint-Germain.

Midfielder Paulinho, centre, is enjoying a return to form as a Brazil international. Dante Fernandez / AFP
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Barcelona made Brazilian international midfielder Paulinho their first signing since banking a world record fee for Neymar on Monday after agreeing a €40 million (Dh173.3m) fee with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande.

"Barcelona and Guangzhou Evergrande have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player Paulinho Bezerra for €40m," Barca said in a statement.

Paulinho, 29, has signed a four-year deal with a €120m buyout clause and will be formally presented on Thursday.

Barca announce on Twitter

The announcement of Barca's third signing of the summer transfer window after Gerard Deulofeu and Nelson Semedo came just hours after the Catalans suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup first leg on Sunday.

After the game, midfielder Sergio Busquets put pressure on the Barca board by claiming the club had to strengthen their squad before the transfer window closes on August 31.

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Barca have so far been unsuccessful in their attempts to land a more natural replacement for Neymar with huge bids for Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele being rejected by Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

Paulinho failed to shine in his most recent spell in Europe during two years at Tottenham Hotspur before moving to Guangzhou in 2015.

However, he has established himself as a regular in a rejuvenated Brazil side since the appointment of Tite as manager a year ago, most notably scoring a hat-trick in a 4-1 win away to Uruguay in World Cup qualifying back in March.