Barcelona make first contact with Chelsea's Eden Hazard

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Eden Hazard has become a top priority transfer target for Barcelona this summer.

Only recently the Spanish giants made first contact with the Chelsea winger, who is thinking of a move away from Stamford Bridge, according to Sport.

Barcelona have made two signings so far – Brazilian midfielder Arthur from Gremio and defender Clement Lenglet from Sevilla. However, Ernesto Valverde is looking to strengthen his attack and after Antoine Griezmann snubbed the chance to play alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez – Hazard is being seen as an alternative.

The 27-year-old though is still involved in the World Cup and will feature for Belgium in the third-place clash against England on Saturday.

A danger to Barca’s chances of bringing the Belgian to Camp Nou looms in the form of rivals Real Madrid.

After Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit to Juventus, Los Blancos are keen to bring either Neymar or Kylian Mbappe to the Santiago Bernabeu.

If neither of them can be signed, Florentino Perez’s attention will likely switch to Hazard and see the two giants go head-to-head to sign him.

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Arthur completes €31million move to Barcelona

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New Barca man: Arthur.

Barcelona have completed the €31million signing of midfielder Arthur from Brazilian club Gremio.

The Catalan giants announced the news on their official website, confirming the player will sign a six-year contract with a buy-out clause of Euros 400m (£350m).

In a statement the club said: “FC Barcelona and Gremio de Porto Alegre have agreed the transfer of the player Arthur Henrique Ramos de Oliveira Melo, following the agreement the two clubs reached in March.

“The agreement will see the Brazilian player immediately join the squad.”

The 21-year-old, who will join compatriot Philippe Coutinho in the Barcelona squad, is yet to make a full senior appearance for the national team.

However, he has come through the Brazilian junior teams and starred in a Gremio team which won both the Copa do Brasil and the Copa Libertadores.

Arthur started his career at his local club Goias before being spotted in 2010 by Gremio, then under the charge of former Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari.

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Paulinho leaves Barcelona and returns to Guangzhou Evergrande on a season-long loan

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Barcelona midfielder Paulinho has returned to Guangzhou Evergrande on a season-long loan just a year after making the move in the opposite direction.

The Brazil international started all his nation’s games at the World Cup and has now rejoined Guangzhou after leaving the Chinese Super League club to move to the Nou Camp last summer.

The LaLiga champions announced the deal on their website, confirming Guangzhou have an option to sign the 29-year-old former Tottenham man on a permanent deal.

“FC Barcelona and Guangzhou Evergrande have reached an agreement for the loan transfer of Paulinho Bezerra for one season, with a subsequent purchase option for the Chinese club,” a statement on the Barcelona website read.

“Barca publicly expresses its gratitude to Paulinho for his commitment and dedication and wishes him luck and success in the future.

“Paulinho made 49 appearances for Barca and scored nine goals, all in La Liga. The Brazilian midfielder debuted on August 26, 2017 in Barca’s 2-0 league triumph at Alaves. Paulinho’s first goal with Barca came in his fourth match, and was the game-winner in the 84th minute of a 2-1 come-from-behind victory at Getafe.

“Paulinho stood out as an attacking midfielder who easily made his way into the opposition penalty area. He also made key contributions defensively throughout the season. In fact, his performances at Barca were key to him being called to play for Brazil in the 2018 World Cup, where he has been a mainstay for ‘La Canarinha’.”

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