Yesterday, Sunday, Guangzhou said that the relationship between the two parties ended two years before the end of the contract between them, due to complications caused by the restrictions applied to contain infection with the emerging coronavirus, which is rapidly spreading.
“Due to the travel restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Paulinho has been unable to join the club and complete the remainder of his contract,” the club said in a statement.
“After friendly consultations, the club and the player decided to terminate the contract,” the statement added.
The 32-year-old former Brazil international had two successful spells at the club when he helped them win the AFC Champions League in 2015 and the Chinese Super League title in 2015 and 2016.
After that, he left to join Barcelona for one season, then returned to China in 2018 and led the team to win the domestic league title in 2019 and was awarded the best player in the league.
Paulinho was unable to play for his club this season due to travel restrictions.
“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to leave Guangzhou FC,” Paulinho was quoted by Xinhua as saying. “I feel very sad. But I look forward to returning one day to see you all.”