Tottenham Hotspur's Brazilian international midfielder Paulinho would rather stay in Europe than return home to South America, according to the London Evening Standard.
The Spurs number eight has only featured five times this season and just once in the Premier League, so far failing to convince manager Mauricio Pochettino he deserves a place in his new-look starting XI.
The £17million 2013 signing has failed to live up to his hefty transfer fee as Spurs have struggled to find any consistency. Three managers in 15 months have hardly helped, and Paulinho has struggled to find a role in the team to match comparisons to Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.
Spurs and Selecao star have been a poor fit
Not physically imposing enough to play in a conventional midfield position, and without the technical ability to play as a playmaker or no.10, the transfer has not worked at all and with Pochettino keen to make further changes to his playing staff Paulinho looks to be at the front of the exit queue.
There was talk of a return to Brazil, but with Brazilian clubs lacking the financial clout of their European counterparts, and FIFA clamping down on third party ownership, a move within Europe would suit both player and club.
- Top Spurs target could eventually make Premier League move for free
- Mauricio Pochettino offers poor excuse for lacklustre home form
- Spurs facing fight to stop £10m star joining Southampton
Serie A switch looks logical
The Evening Standard report previous interest from Italian giants Juventus and Roma and the slower tempo of Serie A may suit the ex-Corinthians man, given his ability to make bursts forward for the full ninety minutes.
However in England the game moved too quickly for him and the spaces never opened; Italy may suit his style more.