Paulinho: I took a pay cut to join Barcelona from Guangzhou Evergrande

Paulinho has set his sights on becoming a key player at Barcelona after confirming he took a pay cut to join the Catalan club this month.

Barca paid Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande €40 million to make the Brazil international their fourth signing of the summer.

That was a record fee for an outgoing player from Chinese football but the move drew criticism from sections of Barca's support and led to an online campaign asking for president Josep Maria Bartomeu to resign.

"I heard things but I didn't pay attention," the 29-year-old said in an interview with Sport about the controversy which surrounded his arrival at the Camp Nou. "I am mature enough not to think about these things, but about helping Barcelona do well. I'm a professional, it doesn't affect me.

"The best way to respond is on the pitch, helping my teammates and winning games. That's how I am going to change people's opinions."

Paulinho, who joined Guangzhou from Tottenham for €15m two years ago, also confirmed in a separate interview with Mundo Deportivo that he took a hit on his salary in order to push through his move to Barca.

Asked if he took a pay cut, he said: "Yes. I've always been someone who put my career first and this was a chance which may not come up again, so I did everything I could to be able to play for Barca.

"At the end of the day, money's never the most important thing. I have come here to fulfil a dream, to win titles and to be happy."

Having not been available for Barca's La Liga opener against Real Betis last weekend due to bureaucratic issues, Paulinho is free to make his debut in Saturday's trip to Alaves.

"When you change teams, cities or countries it's obvious there's a period of adaption, but some players can adapt quicker than others," he said.

"I will try to adapt as quickly as possible. In one week here I've done a lot more than I did in my first week in London, for example. With respect to all the players here, I've come to start games. My idea is to play and to be a regular."