Real Sociedad and former Wolves striker Willian Jose has revealed that the Spanish club denied him a dream transfer to Manchester United.
The Brazilian has had links with the Premier League for some time now. Indeed, that is on top of his move to Nuno Espirito Santo’s Molineux earlier this year; Tottenham had interest last summer as they looked to find back-up for Harry Kane, eventually signing Carlos Vinicius last summer.
However, Jose has now revealed that United tried to sign him in January 2020.
The Red Devils made a late striker move after Marcus Rashford succumbed to a long-term back injury. Odion Ighalo eventually came in on a loan move in deadline day, but Jose could have arrived instead.
Speaking to Noticias de Gipuzkoa, the 29-year-old opened up on the frustrating period in his career, taking aim at Sociedad.
“I think they have not treated me well,” Jose said. “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.”
However, he did not get his move and ended the 2019/20 La Liga campaign with 11 goals in 37 games.
A year later, though, he did get his transfer to the Premier League. Jose moved to Wolves, aiming to replace star striker Raul Jimenez after his serious head injury.
But he struggled to have much of an impact, netting only one strike in 17 Premier League matches.
Looking back, Jose cannot understand why he was denied a switch a year earlier.
Willian Jose admits transfer frustration
“In the end, things did not go well, and this year they let me go to Wolves,” he said.
“I don’t understand why a few months ago they didn’t want to let me go for €23 million [£20million] and now they have let me go.
“Football is sometimes difficult to understand.”
As for United’s pathway after signing Ighalo, the Nigerian impressed and earned an extension to his Old Trafford stay.
In his place, Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in brought Edinson Cavani in summer 2020, who himself has earned a new one-year deal.