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European champions Chelsea are in Japan playing in the FIFA Club World Cup, but interim manager Rafael Benitez is using this opportunity to scout Corinthians and Brazil midfielder Paulinho as a potential transfer target.
Reports in The Sun indicate, that Chelsea are looking for more cover in the midfield department and will assess Paulinho first-hand as he is with the Corinthians squad that is set to play in the semi-finals on Wednesday. The London club could make an offer for the player wehn the transfer window reopens next month.
Paulinho joined Brazilian club Corinthians in 2010 and was an integral member of the team which won the Brazil League title in 2011 and the Copa Libertadores for the first time last season. He has gone on to play 8 times for Brazil, scoring 2 goals in the process. His performances have attracted interest from a number of high-profile clubs, including the likes of Inter Milan and Manchester City.
Chelsea find themselves in the midst of a crisis as midfielder Oriol Romeu was recently sidelined for up to 6 months due to a knee injury and John Obi Mikel is serving a 3-match ban and will additionally miss most of January being away on national duty in the African Cup of Nations. That leaves Ramires and Frank Lampard as the only central midfielders and Benitez is hoping to get cover in the area in the transfer window.
Chelsea though are keeping their options open, and also have an eye on Newcastleâ€™s Cheick Tiote and Evertonâ€™s Marouane Fellaini.
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