If you read between the lines last week, tonight’s news comes as no surprise. With Corinthians and Tottenham having agreed to a fee in excess of $25 million (£17 million), the player was left to decide, a choice Paulinho put off until after the Confederations Cup. But with Brazil having claimed first on Sunday, the 24-year-old midfielder having claimed the Bronze Ball, the time had come. Was he off to England?
“The other interest we got was from Inter Milan but the only offer came from Tottenham,” he said. “The proposal came, we sat down, analysed it and decided. It was a big decision to go to a big club. There comes a certain point when you need new challenges.”
And with that, Paulinho’s on his way to London, skipping Wednesday’s Recopa Sudamericana because of “contractual requirements.” At what was reported to be an emotional press conference held by Corinthians, the Spur-to-be didn’t say goodbye. “See you soon,” was his farewell, telling the club to which he promised to return “Corinthians will be in my heart for the rest of my life.”
For now, though, his life is in North London, where he could be a perfect fit for a Spurs team that suddenly has a number of midfield options. If the speculated switch to a 4-3-3 (from a 4-2-3-1) formation happens, André Villa-Boas would have an enviable midfield of Sandro behind Paulinho and Moussa Dembélé, with the likes of Lewis Holtby, Jake Livermore, and potentially Tom Carroll as depth options. Should Spurs solve their problems at striker, where they’re currently relying on Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermaine Defoe, the team could make a real run at the Premier League’s big three: Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea.
No, they won’t be true contenders; just dark horses. And we’ve yet to see what Arsenal’s going to do with this hypothetical war chest their new sponsorships have reportedly given them. But a Spurs team with a healthy Sandro and Paulinho’s box-to-box presence complementing Dembélé would be better situated to snare the top four spot that eluded them last season.
Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.
Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.
[ MORE: No China for Costa ]
Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.
United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Celtic completed a trophy treble in Scottish soccer and finished the domestic season undefeated after beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final thanks to an injury-time goal on Saturday.
Midfielder Tom Rogic scored from an acute angle in the second minute of stoppage time at Hampden Park to ensure Celtic added the cup to the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup.
[ MORE: No China for Costa ]
Brendan Rodgers became the third manager, after Jock Stein (1967, 1969) and Martin O’Neill (2001), to lead Celtic to a treble of domestic titles.
Celtic hasn’t lost any of its 47 games across in the league and both cups, and is the first team to go through the whole of a Scottish domestic season unbeaten.
Blues striker Diego Costa offered some insight into his future following Chelsea’s FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal on Saturday.
The combustible striker was subject to a head-turning bid from the Chinese Super League this winter, but is only looking at two European locations for his future.
Those are his current club, Chelsea, as well as former home at Atletico Madrid.
[ JPW: Poignant FA Cup Final reflects English mood ]
The 28-year-old Costa has kept his scoring pace level since arriving in the Premier League. He scored 64 goals in 134 matches for Atleti, and has notched 58 goals for Chelsea in 120 appearances.
Costa reportedly said, “No, no, no” when asked about China, as well as the following:
Sometimes, a match recap needs just a couple keywords instead of paragraphs.
For example: Messi, Barcelona, Cup Final, the best.
The greatest player on Earth was at it again on Saturday, scoring a deft goal before assisting a Paco Alcacer offering as Barcelona won another Copa del Rey with a 3-1 win over Alaves on Saturday.
[ MORE: Pulisic, BVB win German Cup ]
It’s a third-straight Copa del Rey for the Blaugranas, their 29th crown in the tournament’s history. Barca has also lost 10 Copa finals, the last in 2014 against Real Madrid.
Here’s the goal:
And the pass: