By Alex Stevens
Former Tottenham midfielder Paulino has emerged as a shock target for Bayern Munich, according to a report.
French radio station RMC claim that Carlo Ancelotti is a big admirer of the Brazil international and has instructed Bayern chiefs to sign him this summer.
It is said that the German giants have already held talks with Paulinho‘s agent as they look to thrash out a deal to bring him back to Europe.
Paulinho, 28, is keen to move to Bayern from China, where he is currently playing for Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou Evergrande.
The Brazilian box-to-box midfielder arrived at White Hart Lane from Corinthians for a £17million fee in 2013 when Andre Villas-Boas was manager.
The Portugese and his successor Tim Sherwood gave Paulinho a solid run of starts in the player’s first season in England but his opportunities dried up after Mauricio Pochettino took over in the summer of 2014.
The 38-cap international was sold by Spurs at an £8million loss in the summer of 2015, when he was reunited with former Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari in China.
Bayern’s interest in Paulinho is a surprise, partly due to his performances in the Premier League, but also because Ancelotti already has the likes of Arturo Vidal, Thiago Alcantara, Joshua Kimmich and Renato Sanches at his disposal.
However, the imminent retirement of Spanish maestro Xabi Alonso means Bayern may be in the market for one midfielder.
Spurs remain seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea despite a series of memorable displays that have demonstrated the team’s improvement this season.
In other Tottenham news, the club have terminated the contract of one of their defenders.