The 24-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Inter Milan in the recent transfer window, while Chelsea were also thought to be keen, but no move materialised.
Paulinho, who is under contract at Corinthians until 2015, says the financial advantages of a European move were appealing but did not feel it was the right point in his career.
The Brazil international, who has nine caps, also wanted to stay in his home country and make an impact on new national team boss Luiz Felipe Scolari.
He told Sportv: "I received two offers from Inter Milan. I decided to stay because it wasn't the right moment to go.
"The financial side was very good but I always place my career ahead of the money. Time will tell when it will be the right moment.
"When a player wants a new challenge, he insists, but when he doesn't want to go, he insists as well.
"The national team is one of the reasons why I stayed, as the manager had changed. If I had gone, it would have been a new beginning."
Paulinho says there was no pressure from Corinthians to leave, insisting the Brazilian side do not need to sell their top players.
"Corinthians need great players to improve every day," he said.
"I see it this way; they don't need to sell to have money. They provide the structure so that the player can do his job the best way, so Corinthians don't need to [sell players]."