Guangzhou Evergrande boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has suggested that Paulinho will only sign for Barcelona if the La Liga giants pay his release clause.
Paulinho endured a disappointing spell at Tottenham Hotspur between 2013 and 2015, but his form for the Chinese Super League champions has led to interest from Barcelona.
The 28-year-old has confirmed that contact has been made by the Spanish side, but Scolari has claimed that it will take a bid of over £35m for his player to be able to speak about a potential exit.
The former Brazil coach is quoted by The Mirror as saying: "His release clause is €40m and none of the Chinese clubs will let their key players go because it would be difficult and expensive to find a replacement due to the new rules."
Paulinho made just 31 Premier League starts during two seasons in England, despite Spurs shelling out £17.7m for his signature.