Paulinho, 29, was a surprise arrival at the LaLiga champions last season in a €40m (R628m) deal from the Chinese Super League giants.
However, the Brazil midfielder excelled in his box-to-box role under the guidance of Ernesto Valverde and earned a starting XI spot for Brazil at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The tireless midfielder scored nine goals in 34 league games as Barca romped to the Spanish top-flight title.
His form, coupled with the sizeable transfer fee spent just a year ago made the announcement of the 12-month loan all the more puzzling.
But it’s since been revealed in Spanish media that Barca will look to recoup the transfer fee at the end of the season while opening a foreign quota spot for Arthur Melo and potentially Chelsea winger Willian.
The Blaugrana have already seen a £50m (R900m) bid for the Blues man turned down last week – but will look to continue their pursuit for the Selecao star.