Brazilian midfielder Paulinho has left champions, Barcelona to re-joins Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande just a year after joining the club.
Since his heavily criticised move to the Nou Camp last summer, the 29-year old returns initially on loan after only one season in Spain.
After being a surprise signing for the Blaugrana, in his 49 games, he managed nine goals, which was more than new signings, Ousmane Dembele and Phillipe Coutinho as Barcelona won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Super Cup.
A statement from Barcelona read:
“FC Barcelona and Guangzhou Evergrande have reached an agreement for the loan transfer of Paulinho Bezerra for one season, with a mandatory purchase option for the Chinese club.
“Barça publicly expresses its gratitude to Paulinho for his commitment and dedication and wishes him luck and success in the future.”
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 8, 2018
Paulinho, who turns 30 in three weeks’ time, heads back to China where he helped Guangzhou to three titles on the bounce and an Asian Champions League trophy.
During this summer’s World Cup, he started all five matches in Russia, scoring once during their 2-0 win over Serbia in the group stages. He also started in their 2-1 defeat to Belgium in the quarter-finals, before being substituted after 73 minutes to goal scorer, Renato Augusto.
Paulinho’s first tour of China saw him rack up 63 league appearances from 2015 to 2017.