Paulinho capture pushes Man Utd, Chelsea target closer to exit

Sergi Roberto

One thing is clear - Barcelona have not seen the summer they wanted or expected come to fruition. The player has no dearth of interest, with Manchester United set to make a move for him.

He has been heavily linked with Manchester United and Chelsea after enjoying an impressive last campaign under former manager Luis Enrique, establishing himself as first-choice right-back.

The Spainiard featured heavily for Barca last season but faces added competition this term and is considering his options with a number of clubs interested in securing a deal, according to reports in Spain.

Samper returned to Barcelona earlier this summer with hopes Valverde would give him a chance to serve as a back-up for Sergio Busquets during the 2017-2018 season.

Barcelona had their pre-season tour in the U.S. and Roberto was left out of the party in one of their games, he also featured for 28 minutes on their return to Spain against Chapecoense and he played a bit-part against their Capital rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Cup first leg. "Here he is going to have less minutes and I spoke with him [over a new loan move] with the idea that he could keep progressing and be an important player in the future".

The versatile Spaniard has made 141 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions and new boss Ernesto Valverde has insisted that the 25-year-old remains a key part of his plans at Camp Nou.

Paulinho failed to make an impact in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur after joining from Corinthians and departed to Guangzhou Evergrande in 2015 for 14 million euros. "We didn't have a player with his profile in our squad", Valverde said.

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