Barca still keen on Paulinho

Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez revealed that there’s still a chance of signing Paulinho, but was more coy on other transfer links.

Speaking at the presentation of new signing Nelson Semedo, Fernandez was asked if their move for Guangzhou Evergrande’s Brazilian midfielder was over, and replied that “it doesn’t have to be”.

“Barca have to be vigilant,” Fernandez said. “And when a player from a particular league comes up and you’re interested, you know what you have to do, and from there you have to do the deal. If we can, we’ll close the deal. If we can’t, that’ll be that.”

Fernandez was more reticent when talking about Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, another reported transfer target, saying that “he’s a player with a contract in force” and “there’s not much I can say about him”.

“If Barca have to do a deal with a player who’s under contract, we have to agree  with his club.”

Semedo was Barca’s third signing of the transfer window, following the re-signing of Gerard Deulofeu from Everton and their decision to keep Marlon Santos at the club from Fluminense.

When asked if Semedo’s arrival spells trouble for fellow full-back Aleix Vidal, Fernandez insisted that they’re “happy with Aleix” and “the signing will not involve Aleix’s departure at all”.

“[Semedo has] played in great competitions for a year and a half, and after much analysis, we think he’ll make his presence known and help the team. He’ll adapt quickly.

“We’ve always had the type of player we wanted in mind. Nelson has years ahead of him and he’s young.”

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