Paulinho has called on Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao to be flexible as he chases a move to Barcelona, claiming he would accept a pay cut to push through a transfer.

The Brazil midfielder revealed Barca had made a bid for him last month, reportedly worth €20million, but the Chinese Super League champions have rejected the offer and are determined to keep hold of their man, whose contact includes a €40m release clause.

With Barca turning to the former Tottenham player as their attempts to sign Marco Verratti from Paris Saint-Germain hit the buffers, Paulinho hopes that his current employers will have a change of heart.

He told Mundo Deportivo: “I was a little surprised that Guangzhou had not responded to Barca yet and it came out in the press here that they had rejected the offer. 

“I could not talk to my president yet because we travel to Beijing to play, but I hope that if Barca come, Guangzhou will be flexible and the signing can be confirmed.”

Though his CSL deal may be beyond the pay structures at Camp Nou, Paulinho says the dream of competing for Champions League glory means more to him than money. 

He explained: “In 2011, when I was in Corinthians, I received an offer from Russia that offered me to win 10 times more than in Brazil and I answered: ‘What I can do with five, I can do with two.’

“Money for me never came first. A player can make money at any team he goes to. The important thing for me is to be happy with the decision that I am making. 

“China is now a financial giant, but for me the money was not a priority, so if Barca offer me a proposal which is less than in Guangzhou, for me it is not a problem because I value the option of being able to play in a great European league, surrounded by great players.

“The dream of being able to win the Champions League is something that you have with Barca, and with the team that is there, I can achieve it.”

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