Update: Adelte reached out to Grup 14 and we would like to retract the information published below, adding an official notification by the company:

ADELTE Group refutes having agreed a project in China in relation to the signing of football player Paulinho Bezerra

This outlet has published news accusing the ADELTE Group and its managing director Josep María Bartomeu of having agreed a project in China in relation to the signing of football player Paulinho Bezerra. This, however, is an absolute mistruth.

The ADELTE Group is not involved in any way in any project with the company Evergrande Group, a fact that was easily corroborated soon after verifying the news.

As a result of this, the ADELTE Group is exercising its legitimate right to demand rectification on the part of the journalists and media that disseminated and reiterated the false news, without prejudice to any legal actions the company may decide to take.

Original Post

With Paulinho’s transfer, confusion has gripped the Barcelona fanbase. In sporting terms, the transfer is a big question mark. After Neymar’s transfer to PSG, Barcelona are in dire need of a winger and a midfielder who can conduct the game. Nowhere was the need of a box to box defensive midfielder, especially a 29 year old who was offloaded by Tottenham Hotspur to Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande. He was also previously offloaded by Polish club ŁKS Łódź for performing miserably, similar reason as that of Spurs. His only good spell dates to almost five years ago, with the Brazilian club Corinthians.

Here comes a stirring suspicion that quite possibly wasn't motivated by sporting reasons. FC Barcelona’s President Josep Maria Bartomeu is also the CEO and partner of ADELTE Group, which designs, builds and delivers innovative engineering solutions and advanced global services to enhance Airports, Seaports and Road Transport operations worldwide with an annual turnover of 24 million USD. If recent company strategies and business news are to be believed, it is strongly looking at expanding in the Asian market, especially China. Currently the group has projects in Taipei, Keelung and Hong Kong. Taipei and Keelung are part of the Republic of China (ROC/Taiwan) and Hong Kong is an autonomous territory of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

ADELTE Group’s projects around the world

As such, Bartomeu’s company has currently no major operations in mainland China, the world’s largest trading nation. However, that is soon to change with the group’s possible involvement in the Ocean Flower Island, a massive artificial archipelago in the South China Sea targeted at luxury customers. The project is under construction and is being constructed by the Evergrande Group, with investments of 24 billion dollars and looking at completion in 2020. Florentino Perez’s company ACS Group, a considerably bigger company with net revenues of 34 billion dollars (2016), were also in public bidding for the same project, but are set to lose it out to ADELTE. Bartomeu reportedly has interest in a shipping company that specializes in passenger transit between Europe and Asia, targeting the Guangzhou port, Mainland China’s second biggest port after Shanghai and world’s eighth busiest.

The Evergrande Group, which owns Guangzhou Evergrande had earlier refused to sell Paulinho to FC Barcelona. Despite the data, it is speculative to state that Bartomeu will be gaining favours with Evergrande Group snatching a player they were formerly unwilling to sell during the Chinese football season.

Now a 29 year old player who was bought for 16 million USD by Guangzhou 2 years ago has been sold to Barcelona at 47 million USD. Questions are bound to rise.

Anything wrong? Send your correction.