South Africa Soccer

‘I had an offer from Manchester United’ – Willian Jose claims Real Sociedad blocked Old Trafford transfer

The Brazilian striker, who spent the second half of 2020-21 on loan at Wolves, has also revealed he was a target for Barcelona

Willian Jose has claimed that he had an offer from Manchester United on the table in 2020 but Real Sociedad blocked his potential switch to Old Trafford.

United reportedly targeted a whole host of strikers in last year’s winter transfer window amid a shortage of options up front, eventually managing to secure a loan deal for Odion Ighalo – who played for Shanghai Shenhua at the time.

Willian Jose has now revealed that he was one of the players on the Red Devils’ original shortlist, while bemoaning a lack of support from the Sociedad board after seeing the proposed transfer fall through.

What’s been said?

The Liga outfit allowed the Brazilian to join Wolves on a short-term loan deal in January, but is still baffled as to why they decided against selling him for a hefty fee when United came calling.

“I think they have not treated me well,” Willian Jose told Spanish publication Noticias de Gipuzkoa. “I expected a little more. When I renewed my contract, I had spoken with Roberto Olabe about there being some interested teams, from the Premier League and also from La Liga.

“I spoke with Roberto, and he told me that if a big team which played in the Champions League came in for me, they would let me go. I stayed calm.

“Then came Barcelona and an offer from Manchester United. I saw that it was an opportunity that I could not miss out on because life is like that. You have to take advantage of opportunities, and I saw that it was the opportunity.

“In the end, things did not go well, and this year they let me go to Wolves.

“I don’t understand why a few months ago they didn’t want to let me go for €23 million and now they have let me go. Football is sometimes difficult to understand.”

How did Willian Jose perform at Wolves?

Wolves turned to Willian Jose after seeing star forward Raul Jimenez suffer a fractured skull, in the hope that the 29-year-old could help fire them to a third successive top-10 finish in the Premier League.

However, Wolves ended up finishing the 2020-21 campaign down in 13th, and the Sociedad loanee managed to score just once in 17 top-flight outings.

Willian Jose’s record at Sociedad

Willian Jose initially joined Sociedad from Deportivo Maldonado in 2016, and has since made 170 appearances for the club, scoring 62 goals.

The one-time Brazil U20 international still has three years remaining on his contract with Sociedad, but is once again being linked with a move away from the Anoeta in the summer transfer window.

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