Manchester City are looking to find a way of making a deal with Corinthians midfielder Paulinho according to the Daily Mail.
Sporting director Txiki Begiristian flew to Brazil to explore if there are ways of making a bid for the 24 year old play-maker, with the huge possibility of being without Yaya Toure for the majority of January due to international commitments in the African Cup of Nations.
The Brazilian international, who recently picked up the club world cup against Chelsea, is valued at around £20 million, but with a possible get-out clause in his contract, City may only have to pay £11 million.
City boss Roberto Mancini is looking for a like for like replacement for Toure, and Paulihno has all the credentials to fill the boots of the Ivory Coast star. He is blessed with genuine power and is a hard runner, which is what the champions will be missing throughout January and Mancini will be hoping Begiristian can get the deal signed and sealed before Toure leaves for Africa.
This season in the Brazilian Serie A, Paulinho has scored seven goals with seven assists in 23 appearances for Corinthians, which is a real accomplishment from a central and defensive midfield role: displaying the credentials required to fit in at the Etihad Stadium. He’s also been a hit at the international level winning eight caps in a strong Brazilian midfield scoring a couple of goals, one of them coming against arch rivals Argentina.
There are other clubs showing interest in the midfielder, two of them being Chelsea and Inter Milan but Mancini has been tracking Paulinho for some time now and he is the Italian’s main transfer target in January. If City don’t want to lose momentum and ground on rivals Manchester United and with Toure departing for a month, the deal may just have to be a must.