Barcelona new signing PaulinhoBarcelona, Spain | AFP | Barcelona made Brazilian international midfielder Paulinho their first signing since banking a world record fee for Neymar on Monday after agreeing a 40 million-euro ($47 million) fee with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande.“Barcelona and Guangzhou Evergrande have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player Paulinho Bezerra for 40 million euros,” Barca said in a statement.The 29-year-old has signed a four-year deal with a 120 million-euro buyout clause and will be formally presented on Thursday.The announcement of Barca’s third signing of the summer transfer window after Gerard Deulofeu and Nelson Semedo came just hours after the Catalans suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup first leg on Sunday.Midfielder Sergio Busquets had put pressure on the club’s board by claiming Barca had to strengthen their squad before the transfer window closes on August 31.Barca have so far been unsuccessful in their attempts to land a more natural replacement for Neymar with huge bids for Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele being rejected by Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund respectively.“I hope you are as happy as I was there,” Neymar wrote on Instagram to wish his international teammate well.However, Paulinho’s arrival has not been warmly received by the Barca fanbase.Over 80 percent of fans urged the club not to sign him for over 20 million euros in a survey conducted by Barcelona sports daily Mundo Deportivo. That lack of enthusiasm is due to Paulinho’s chequered career at club level in Europe.After spells in Lithuania and Poland as a teenager, Paulinho moved to Tottenham Hotspur from Corinthians in 2013.Yet he failed to shine in two years in England before moving to Guangzhou in 2015 for 14 million euros.However, he has rebuilt his career in China and established himself as a regular in a rejuvenated Brazil side since the appointment of Tite as coach a year ago, most notably scoring a hat-trick in a 4-1 win away to Uruguay in World Cup qualifying back in March.And Paulinho’s former coach at Tottenham, Andre Villas-Boas, believes his move to Barca is a huge boost for the prestige of the Chinese Super League.“Because Paulinho’s come here, he’s done ever so well and now he has a transfer to one of the biggest clubs in the world,” said Shanghai SIPG coach Villas-Boas.“I think it shows that the big clubs are also looking at our league. It’s a reflection of the players and the quality of work that is being done here.”Share on: WhatsApp
The first team to win four games takes the best of seven championships. In the women’s category JKL Lady Dolphins who lost on Wednesday to UCU Lady canons also made a strong statement to tie the series at 1-1. JKL won the game 60-56. The two teams face off on Sunday for game three at the Lugogo MTN Arena.*****URNShare on: WhatsApp Oilers face UCU in game threeKampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Defending Champions of the National Basketball League, City Oil stopped Uganda Christian University (UCU) Canons 79-72 on Friday night to tie the finals series 1-1.On Wednesday UCU beat the odds to stop City Oil despite Coach Nicholas Natuhereza and Centre David Kongor Deng’s ejection from the game.However in thrilling game played at the Lugogo MTN Arena, Oilers centre Landry Ndikuma dropped 27 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists, while James Okello added 28 points and 11 rebounds to give City Oil a comfortable win. UCU led the first quarter 24-16 before Oilers led the second quarter 22-20. A slow play by the UCU side saw them trail with a big gap of 20-11 against the defending champions in the third quarter.Oilers continued their lead in the last quarter to win it 21-17. Titus Lual and David Kongor’s 15 points each could not save the Mukono based side from the loss. The win for Oilers now means the finals series is tied at 1-1 and the two teams are headed for game three on Sunday.