Chelsea have been handed the opportunity to revive their long-term interest in Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paulinho, with the Brazilian international admitting there's plenty of interest in his signature despite a frustrating time at White Hart Lane.
Paulinho has featured just once for Spurs in the Premier League this season, with new manager Mauricio Pochettino restricting the £17 million man to just 30 minutes against West Brom in his first 11 games in charge.
The 26-year-old has failed to persuade Pochettino he deserves a regular one of games despite playing in all but one of the Selecao's seven games in the World Cup last summer, a mystifying stance which has left the door open to a cut-price January exit.
Paulinho 'proud' of Brazil interest
In an interview with Brazilian newspaper Lancenet, brought to our attention by The Express, the box-to-box midfielder revealed: "Players always wants to play. I am participating in a few games at Tottenham.
"Maybe it's the opportunity to go back. There is interest of Brazilian clubs, but nothing concrete yet. I'm glad to have a recognition, I feel proud."
- Paulinho would prefer Serie A transfer to Brazil return
- Chelsea came close to £28.7m Paulinho deal last summer
- Chelsea & Real Madrid both considered Paulinho deal
Spurs ready to wield January axe
Pochettino will surely be desperate to get a number of stars not justifying their places off the wage bill in January, in an effort to mould the team into one which can match his exacting standards after a thoroughly underwhelming start to the season.
Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Andros Townsend are just three of the stars in the firing line and as a result Chelsea have the opportunity to clinch a surprise January transfer coup, one that may not be as farfetched as you might think.
Mourinho has tracked the Spurs misfit before
Blues boss Jose Mourinho is on the hunt for viable transfer targets that fit into Chelsea's new remit of attempting to spend more responsibly, boxes a deal for Paulinho would tick even if Spurs attempt to recoup the majority of the £17m spent in 2013.
Mourinho is thought to be a long-term admirer of the a midfield maestro who was once consistently compared to Blues legend Frank Lampard, while also regularly linked with Real Madrid.
Paulinho's stock has fallen considerably since those heady days but he remains an international regular with plenty more to offer at club level, if any top clubs are willing to take the plunge when the transfer window finally opens.