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Chelsea aim to test Spurs’ resolve with shock bid for midfielder

| 01.05.2014

Of the new signings Tottenham made to replace Gareth Bale this summer, few are expected to be safe from the axe at the end of a collectively disappointing debut campaign in north London.

The fact that Chelsea are willing to rescue one of Spurs’ blundering new recruits comes as quite a shock though.

Paulinho’s impact in the Lilywhite midfield has flattered to deceive since he signed for £17m from Corinthians and the Brazilian has been used inconsistently by Tim Sherwood as a result.

With guaranteed first-team football looking less likely at Spurs than at the start of the season, Chelsea have spotted an opportunity to add to their Samba community at Stamford Bridge.

They’ve tasked Giuliano Bertolucci, the same agent who brought current Brazilian Blues David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar to the club, to initiate bringing Paulinho across London to join them.

That Bertolucci was successful in each of Chelsea’s deals for those Canarinhos certainly helps the Blues’ cause, although Spurs are almost certain to drive a hard bargain over any sale.

Daniel Levy will look to recoup the £17m he forked out for Paulinho at the very least and his insistence on making Premier League rivals pay over the odds to capture one of his number is infamous.

With Frank Lampard ageing and John Obi Mikel out of favour, a midfielder of Paulinho’s energy could be well-harnessed by Mourinho, who is 1/5 to guide his side to victory against Norwich next time out, in his quest for future trophies at Stamford Bridge.

The Sao Paulo-native has shown flashes of capability during the course of the season, but clearly needed time to adapt to the English conditions.

Should Spurs be short-sighted enough to confine their midfield man to the scrap heap already, then Chelsea could really benefit from a settled Paulinho’s improved performances.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.