Chelsea have joined the race to sign Brazilian midfielder Paulinho from Corinthians in January, according to the Mirror.


The 24-year-old, who has played eight times for his country, is believed to have a clause in his contract that will value his services at £11m.

The Blues' interest comes after a ligament injury to Spanish midfielder Oriel Romeu, in the weekend's 3-1 win at Sunderland, ruled the former Barcelona player out for the season.

Rafael Benitez's side will be short of options in the centre of the park in January, with Nigerian international John Obi Mikel away with Nigeria in the African Nations Cup (ANC). Veteran Michael Essien is on loan with Spanish champions Real Madrid and veteran Frank Lampard faces an uncertain future at the club.

The Mirror states the Blues' technical director, Michael Emenalo, will scout Paulinho when Corinthians take on Egyptians Al-Ahly in the first semi final of the Club World Cup in Japan. However Chelsea will face competition for the defensive midfielder for Manchester City, who are facing their own January midfield shortage given Yaya Toure will also be away at the ANC.

Oscar on Club World Cup

Meanwhile, the Stamford Bridge club, who will play Mexicans Monterrey in their semi-final, will take the Club World Cup seriously, according to summer signing Oscar. The Brazilian midfielder played in the tournament two years ago, with Internacional, but was eliminated by Congolese club TP Mezembe in the semi final.

"Last time out I was 19... We didn't manage to win it, so I just hope that this time I can have a great competition and win it with Chelsea," the summer signing explained, adding, on the defeat to the African club, "It was one of those things that happen in football. We were all surprised because we knew our team was superior to theirs. We tried everything we could to score a goal but it was one of those days where the ball just wouldn't go in the net.",