Tottenham are considering a move for Brazil midfielder Paulinho. The Metro believes Andre Villas-Boas is preparing a £14.5m for the Corinthians player, in an effort to strengthen central midfield options ahead of the new season.
AVB is understood to be ready to release a number of big-name first team players, including England midfielder Scott Parker. Paulinho will likely take Parker's place in the centre of the park at White Hart Lane.
The 24-year-old Brazilian turned in an impressive performance during his country's 2-2 draw against England, in an international friendly, earlier this month, and even scored a goal. He has been equally impressive for his club, scoring 13 goals and creating three more in all competitions last season.
The Metro believes Spurs will face competition from the Serie A for the South America, with Roma and Inter Milan tracking the player. However, the Premier League side are believed to have the upper hand.
Paulinho is aware of the interest in his services and admitted he may have to consider his future after the FIFA Confederations Cup, which begins this weekend in Brazil.
"I will let things happen naturally regarding playing in Europe. I am focused on the national team and I will be ready when I have to leave Corinthians," Paulinho stressed.
Meanwhile, Corinthians' deputy director, Duilio Monteiro Alves, has confirmed there is widespread interest in his star.
"Paulinho has many clubs interested in him. Concrete proposals have not arrived. What we have been reading about is speculation. I said it would be difficult to retain the player. Corinthians, however, do not need to sell. For this reason we have set an asking price of €20m, he will not be sold for anything less," Alves said.
Incidentally, Paulinho is not AVB's first choice. That honour went to Inter Milan's Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin. The 26-year-old, according to the Mirror, saw a £17m bid rejected by the Italian club. AVB could still land his former FC Porto star, if he increases his offer to £21m.