Chelsea have stunned bitter London rivals Tottenham by launching a shock move for World Cup midfielder Paulinho.

Alerted to the Brazil anchor man's struggle to make the expected impact at White Hart Lane, Chelsea have begun discussions they hope will conclude with him switching to Stamford Bridge in time for the start of next season.

Should the Blues capture Paulinho it could represent the second time in a year that they have trumped Spurs in the transfer market, following their capture of Willian last August. The Brazil winger was set to move to White Hart Lane from Anzhi Makhachkala before Chelsea gazumped Spurs with a late £32million bid.

To show they mean business over Paulinho, Chelsea have left the negotiations in the hands of the same agent who facilitated the signings of three of their other Brazil internationals.

FIFA agent Giuliano Bertolucci conducted talks that resulted in centre-back David Luiz and midfielders Ramires and Oscar becoming Chelsea players, and he is confident he can also deliver Paulinho for manager Jose Mourinho.

Brazilian paper Lance is reporting that Real Madrid and AC Milan were both making overtures for Paulinho, signed from Corinthians for £17million last summer, but that Chelsea are in pole position to complete a deal.