Tottenham are reportedly preparing to offer Paulinho a contract extension in order to ward off interest from Real Madrid and Chelsea.
Spurs' Brazilian midfielder is said to be attracting the gaze of La Liga's transitioning giants, as reported by Nick Lustig of the Daily Star:
Paulinho, who only joined the club in the summer from Corinthians in a £17m transfer, has been attracting interest from Madrid after an impressive start to his Spurs career.
However according to reports in Brazil, Spurs are already working on extending his current contract which expires in 2017.
Andre Villas-Boas will take the threat of Real Madrid’s potential interest extremely seriously. Both Luka Modric and Gareth Bale have completed big-money moves to the Bernabeu since an unclear pact was made between the two clubs last year, as reported by Matt Scott of The Telegraph.
Paulinho has immediately become a key player since heading to White Hart Lane. The versatile South American—who is blessed with both attacking and defensive qualities—continues to prowl the midfield alongside Mousa Dembele, Sandro or Etienne Capoue.
The 25-year-old has made seven Premier League starts and scored one goal this campaign. He averages a pass success rate of 87 percent, 2.1 tackles per game and an impressive 3.6 shots each match, as recorded by WhoScored.
Such numbers highlight Paulinho’s ability to fulfill his wide range of duties across the pitch. His turn of pace and dribbling prowess provides Spurs with an increased sense of control. Alongside Dembele, he is able to dictate the pace of play to suit Villas-Boas’ side and maintain possession in key areas.
As per Lustig’s report, his importance to the North London club’s cause may be echoed with a bumper extension:
The deal is also thought to include an extra 12 months and a rise on the 25-year-old's current package, in which he earns £3.6m a year.
Spurs currently occupy sixth in the Premier League and recently suffered a horrific 3-0 home defeat to local rivals West Ham United.
Villas-Boas will not welcome interest from either Madrid or Chelsea as he continues to strengthen his side. His team have made decent progress since losing Bale, and it's crucial Tottenham retain world-class players the manager has signed to implement his own style.
Another high-profile Spurs-to-Madrid transfer would open up real questions from the club's fans, while Paulinho's potential London switch would also bring about huge criticism from followers at White Hart Lane.