It looks as though the Paulinho to Barcelona circus has finally come to an end with Guangzhou Evergrande claiming they will not allow the Brazilian to leave. Phew.
Paulinho was reported as saying only yesterday that he was hopeful he could seal a switch to Camp Nou before the Chinese transfer window slams shut on Friday.
However, Xu, Jiayin the club's chairman has now insisted the club will not let him depart, midway through their season, with the Guangzhou currently top of the table.
“We need to not only consider the financial account of the corporation, but also the specific situation of our current campaign," he said, according to Goal.
"Paulinho has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [to join Barcelona] and we attach great importance to this matter. But we won’t let him leave mid-season.
"The club have just reached the half-way point of the season, it is out of the question that we let go such a key player.
"I understand the feelings of Paulinho but hopefully he will understand the club. Despite receiving the offer from Barcelona, he still play each game to the best of his ability.
"I call on every player to learn from Paulinho’s professionalism."
Strong stuff from Guangzhou and it looks as though we can finally forget all about Paulinho wearing a Barcelona shirt next season.