Brazilian side Corinthians have announced that Tottenham transfer target Paulinho is on the verge of leaving the club.
Paulinho, 24, has starred for Brazil at the FIFA Confederations Cup, scoring twice in his three appearances.
The box-to-box midfielder, who helped Corinthians to victories in the FIFA Club World Cup and the Copa Libertadores in 2012, is said to have a £17 million release clause.
Tottenham, who are vigorously chasing the midfielder, are reported to have met the club’s valuation, although the player himself has said he will wait until the Confederations Cup is over before deciding on his future.
That move away from Brazil appears one step closer after Corinthians president Mario Gobbi Filho released a statement confirming that Paulinho is set to leave.
“Besides the signings we also suffered harassment of the top clubs in the world on some of our key players,” the statement read.
“We make every effort to keep them, but we have to evaluate the good proposals and understand the goals and aspirations of life of each of our athletes.
“With the imminent departure of Paulinho we trust in other players that are being prepared for some time, as William and Edenilson, or even the newly hired Ibson.”
Chelsea are also keen on Paulinho, according to reports, and he refused to confirm he was joining Tottenham after Brazil’s 2-1 semi-final win over Uruguay on Wednesday.
Paulinho netted the winner with four minutes to play and was asked after the match if the goal was scored by Tottenham’s Paulinho, or the Corinthians player.
He said: “This goal was scored by the Paulinho that plays for Corinthians.”