It's a story I expect we'll see a lot during the Confederations Cup. Somebody scores or has an outstanding performance and within a few hours, magic transfer rumors appear out of thin air linking the player with teams up and down Europe.
There were three goals scored today. The first one was by Neymar who just moved to Barcelona, so he's out. The last one was by Jo and nobody cares about Jo. But the middle one, oh the middle child is always the troublemaker.
Paulinho scored the second goal for Brazil and wouldn't you know it, here come the Paulinho transfer rumors. While the player had been tenuously linked with Tottenham Hotspur already - although Corinthians claimed zero knowledge of any such a thing - the rumors underwent some rather aggressive expansion today.
Turns out that the player's agent just so happens to be in London. So many teams in London to choose from! There's the aforementioned Spurs, then there's Wenger's Mighty Zippers, Chelsea of course, and also West Ham United who seem to be specializing in picking up the discarded dregs of other London teams' transfer rumors (see: Wilfried Bony) and ex-players (see: Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou).
Or is Agent Carmen Sandiego just somewhere in England?
"I have been following what is happening, but I know nothing."
"True, my agent is in England, but I don’t know anything more."
-Paulinho, FC Inter News via Inside Futbol
Or perhaps just somewhere in Europe?
Corinthians have yet to receive an offer for Paulinho as the Brazilian waits to hear from his agent on possible interest from Europe.
-Source: Sky Sports
Oh boy, there's literally thousands of teams to choose from in Europe! How will Paulinho ever decide?!
As any agent not named Jerry Maguire, Paulinho's agent represents more than just one player. Apparently he's also Bernard's agent. Bernard's also someone in demand; let's hope Mr. Agent doesn't get confused!
@ryantraill Bernard more likely than Paulinho. The situation seems to be more advanced in relation to him than Paulinho.— Paulo Freitas (@Cynegeticus) June 16, 2013
If true, maybe Spurs are working the BOGO slick deal. That's "buy one, get one," in case you're unfamiliar with Internet shopping terminology. Usually it's used in a buy one, get one free context, but with Paulinho very much in demand, the buy portion may be up in the €20m range.
@ryantraill Yes, Paulinho's situation is complicated, as many clubs want him, and Corinthians are in no hurry to sell.— Paulo Freitas (@Cynegeticus) June 16, 2013
Should Chelsea jump in? Paulinho is a midfielder and midfield is arguably Chelsea's greatest position of need. But having repressed anything to do with Corinthians (thanks, Club World Cup!), I'm not in a position to even remotely begin to answer this question. By all reports, he's a good player and he's set to be a key part of Scolari's Brazil team at next year's World Cup. In that respect he reminds me of Ramires's story. Others liken him to Frank Lampard, a goal-scoring, true box-to-box midfielder, which his Corinthians scoring rate of roughly 1-in-4 seems to support.
While the Chelsea link to Paulinho currently ranges from non-existent to far fetched, it is yet another name to keep on your radar as we slog through the dog days.