Scolari rebuts rumours of tension with Barcelona-linked Paulinho

Luiz Felipe Scolari denies reports that he banished Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande training following a rift between himself and the in-demand midfielder.

Paulinho, 28, has been the subject of interest from Barcelona while he enjoys a surprising career resurgence. He appeared to leave European football for good when he moved to the Chinese Super League in 2015, but it was perhaps his performances on the international scene that alerted Barca, particularly when he scored a hat trick in a 4-1 thumping of Uruguay in World Cup qualifying in March.

The Brazilian told reporters last week that he'd "not stopped thinking about" a potential transfer to the Camp Nou since the Catalan giant tabled an offer for him, but apparently hasn't had his road out of Guangdong province paved by a fall-out with compatriot and manager Scolari.

"Paulinho has been training throughout the whole week and you saw how he played in today's game too," Scolari said after Saturday's 2-1 win over Felix Magath's Shandong Luneng, according to Reuters.

"I saw the report, it said I kicked Paulinho out of the training session. Actually, I sent Paulinho, Yu Hanchao and Li Xuepeng out to rest, but they only saw Paulinho.

"If they don't think Paulinho is a professional player and that he would treat the game with such a negative attitude, they are beyond naive."

Guangzhou chairman Xu Jiayin has stated that his club's star turn isn't available this summer, and declined Barca's initial bid that was worth around €20 million.

Scolari rebuts rumours of tension with Barcelona-linked Paulinho
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Messi, Suarez, Coutinho, Dembele start together for 1st time
Leo #Messi, @LuisSuarez9, @Dembouz and @Phil_Coutinho all start tonight! 😍 🔵🔴 #BarçaGirona
⚽️ Starting XI 🔵🔴 #BarçaGirona
Cristiano Ronaldo scores 300th La Liga goal in 285th appearance
🔝⚽✅ 300 goals in LaLiga for @Cristiano! ¡SIIIIIIUUUUU! #HalaMadrid
Messi sets La Liga assists record
👑 LEO MESSI 👑 The record goalscorer and provider of assists in #LaLigaHistory!
The BBC is back: Bale, Benzema, Cristiano all on scoresheet vs. Alaves
3 - Real Madrid's BBC have scored one goal each for the first time since April 2016. Return.