After today, Chinese teams can still sell, but they cannot purchase. Sure, Barcelona could activate the midfielder’s 40 million buyout clause, but unless they do, Guangzhou won’t budge.
It’s the middle of the season in China, and Paulinho is one of the key players for Guangzhou, who are used to making serious runs for all available trophies.
Furthermore, it was reported in Diario AS that Guangzhou are not pleased with Barcelona "harassing" their player. According to that report, the Chinese club is "extremely annoyed" with the Catalans' attempts to secure Paulinho's transfer and are looking into taking the case to FIFA.