Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of Brazil midfielder Paulinho for £17million.
The 24-year-old was in London yesterday undergoing a medical and becomes the first player to be signed by the White Hart Lane club this summer. Paulinho confirmed at a press conference earlier in the week that he was leaving Corinthians to come to England, amid interest from Real Madrid.
Spurs’ new purchase will provide high-quality reinforcement to a midfield which rather wilted under its workload last season, as they missed out on fourth place and Champions League football by just one point from north London rivals Arsenal.
Sandro, Paulinho’s Brazil team-mate, missed the second half of Spurs’ season with a knee injury while Mousa Dembélé tired in the last few months. Scott Parker and Tom Huddlestone, who were involved in the second half of the season, could move on this summer as they drop further down the Spurs midfield pecking order following the arrival of Paulinho and an increased role for Lewis Holtby.
Paulinho comes to Spurs with an excellent reputation, having been part of the Corinthians side that won the Copa Libertadores and the Club World Cup in 2012. He has 17 Brazil caps to his name and played a starring role in their successful Confederations Cup campaign last month.
Paulinho’s signing follows the acquisition of Franco Baldini from Roma as technical director, and Spurs will now look for a new centre forward. Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa is their top target ahead of another Brazil international, Leandro Damiao.
Villa had a quiet season at Barcelona last year and Spurs hope the 31-year-old could be tempted to try the Premier League after a very successful career in La Liga.
As Spurs delve deeper into the transfer market to buy new talent, they will also look to move players on. Emmanuel Adebayor had a disappointing season and Tottenham are in talks with Turkish side Besiktas over a permanent transfer for the Togo striker. Adebayor scored just five league goals last year, his first season since making his transfer from Manchester City permanent.