Paulinho ‘unruffled by transfer talk’
Corinthians boss Tite said on Tuesday that star midfielder Paulinho is not the type to be distracted by speculation surrounding his future, with a host of Europe's top clubs reportedly chasing his signature.
The Brazilian conceded that Paulinho was attracting interest from around the world because he was playing a key role in a successful Corinthians team, who were recently crowned champions of South America.
Tite said Paulinho's profile had benefited because he was "standing out" in a "strong team" but that he was confident the midfield dynamo would not let the publicity go to his head.
"He is not the sort of player to prioritise his own situation," Tite told a news conference in Toyota, Japan. "He prioritises the team."
Reports in Britain this week have claimed that Manchester City are lining up a bid for the 24-year-old, with rumours circulating over recent months that Chelsea, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain are other interested parties.
The defensive midfielder recently signed a new contract tying him to the Sao Paulo side until 2015, but the extension is not thought to have put off a number of Europe's most illustrious clubs, according to reports.
Paulinho has a handful of appearances under his belt for the Brazilian national side and is expected to be a key figure for the Selecao at the World Cup on home soil in 2016.
His profile is set to be raised further over the next few days as Corinthians bid to win the Club World Cup in Japan.
The Brazilian giants take on Egypt's Al Ahly in the semifinals of the intercontinental event in Toyota on Wednesday.
A victory would potentially set up a mouth-watering match with one of Paulinho's reported suitors – Chelsea, who play their last-four tie against Mexican side Monterrey on Thursday.