Guangzhou Evergrande are analysing the possibility of suing Barcelona over their attempts to poach Brazilian player Paulinho and of appealing to FIFA to take action.
Sources close to the Chinese club confirmed to this newspaper on Friday that in their opinion Barça have spent weeks 'harrassing' a player who is under contract with Guangzhou and confirmed that they had unilaterally broken off talks with Barcelona. Guangzhou club bosses have meet with Paulinho and his representatives to inform them that there will be no further talks over the transfer.
Barcelona have to make move before Chinese market closes
The Chinese transfer market closes today, Friday 14 July, and the only way Paulinho will be going to Spain is if Barcelona pay the player's buy-out clause of 40 million euros, before midnight local time (18:00 CEST).
Guangzhou are "extremely angry at way Barcelona have behaved" during their attempt to sign the player, who renewed with Guangzhou in January, with a contract running to 2020.
The Chinese club are also furious at the constant leaks to the press over the matter, including reports that coach Luiz Felipe Scolari had thrown Paulinho out of a training session after the two had argued.
"There was no argument. Paulinho didn't finish training with the first team because he and other players were replaced by substitutes, in a normal training rotation, where the coach tries out different options and scenarios in a training match", said a dressing room source to AS.
Barcelona have made two offers for Paulinho
According to Brazilian website UOL, Barcelona have made two offers for Paulinho, one for 20 million euros, the other for 27 million. Both were rejected by Guangzhou.