Paulinho Signs Contract with Bayer Leverkusen Amid Juventus, Man City Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2018

Picture taken on February 7, 2018 shwos Brazil's Vasco da Gama player Paulinho celebrating after scoring a goal against Chile's Universidad Concepcion during their 2018 Libertadores Tournament match at Sao Januario stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. - As German first division Bundesliga football club Bayer Leverkusen announced on April 27, 2018, Paulinho has signed a contract with the club and will join them in June 2018. (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP) / ALTERNATIVE CROP        (Photo credit should read MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images)
MAURO PIMENTEL/Getty Images

Bayer Leverkusen have confirmed the signing of Brazil youth international Paulinho from Vasco da Gama.

The 17-year-old has been linked with a number of European football's biggest clubs, and the Bundesliga side announced on Friday they'd won the race to sign the forward:

According to O Globo (h/t Calciomercato.com), the likes of Juventus, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have been impressed by his talent. However, he's off to the BayArena, where he will join a squad packed with exciting young talent.

Speaking about the deal, manager Heiko Herrlich said he was delighted:

Paulinho has impressed for both his club and the national team previously, developing a reputation as one of Brazil's best prospects.

The forward was given a chance to shine in the Copa Libertadores and proved he could cut it on that grand stage, netting two goals in six games. Last month, he was also named as the Player of the Month for the Brasileiro Serie A.

Bikas Das/Associated Press

For the Brazilian youth setup, he's also done well, particularly in recent major tournaments. At the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, he scored three times as the Selecao finished third. He was also part of the squad that won the Under-17 South American Championship last year.

The Scouted Football Twitter account provided more details on what Leverkusen supporters can expect from their new capture:

It's a signing in line with Leverkusen's recent transfer strategy of getting young players through the door and into the team. Leon Bailey, who arrived in January 2017 and has excelled this term, is another.

Additionally, academy prospects like Julian Brandt and Kai Havertz are also expected to go on and achieve big things in the game.

Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe believes Paulinho has chosen the right club to move to in Europe:

It will take time until we see the best from the youngster, as there will be a huge period of transition for him both on and off the pitch.

Still, Leverkusen are renowned for giving young players opportunities, which is not the case with some European juggernauts. As such, Paulinho is a player to watch out for come the 2018-19 Bundesliga campaign.

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