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Brazil’s Paulinho confirms move to Tottenham

Confederations Cup-winning midfielder set to sign for English club for £17m

Gulf News

London: Brazil midfielder Paulinho has confirmed he will join Tottenham Hotspur from Corinthians in a £17m (Dh94.6) deal.

The 24-year-old, who was voted the third-best player at the Confederations Cup, will link up with his new teammates at White Hart Lane after a short holiday.

“The other interest we got was from Inter Milan, but the only offer came from Tottenham,” he said. “The proposal came, we sat down, analysed it and decided. It was a big decision to go to a big club. There comes a certain point when you need new challenges.”

There had been speculation that Paulinho could be involved in the Recopa Sudamericana [South America’s equivalent of the Uefa Super Cup] game against Sao Paulo this Wednesday. But the midfielder will instead travel to London to undergo a medical and complete the move.

Paulinho scored 34 goals in 167 appearances for Corinthians and was instrumental in Brazil’s 3-0 win over Spain on Sunday in the final of the Confederations Cup.

“I will not play in the Recopa because there are contractual requirements of Tottenham which cannot be discussed here,” he said. “It was a decision that we all respect. Of course, I had a huge desire to win another title but the transfer has to be completed.”

In an emotional press conference at Corinthians, Paulinho insisted he would return to the Brazilian club one day. “It’s hard to say anything at a moment like this, but I am sure those were three wonderful years in my career, with many titles,” he said.

“What I have to say to Corinthians fans, board and staff is ‘see you soon’ — I will be back in no time, due to everything they have done for me. My individual titles are all thanks to the club, Corinthians will be in my heart for the rest of my life.”