Willian Jose has slammed parent club Real Sociedad for blocking moves to Barcelona and Manchester United before he signed for Wolves on loan.
Jose, 29, attracted the attention of several heavyweight clubs in 2020 after cultivating an impressive reputation in San Sebastian, culminating in tangible interest from Barca and Man Utd according to the player himself.
In the January transfer window last year, both the Red Devils and Barca were in the market for reinforcements up top, with the former eventually settling on Odion Ighalo on loan from Shanghai Shenhua, while the latter signed Martin Braithwaite from relegation-threatened Leganes in February after being granted an emergency exception.
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Jose meanwhile stuck around in the Basque Country for an extra year, failing to rediscover his scoring form as he netted just three La Liga goals in the first half of 2020/21, before ultimately securing a move to the Premier League, joining Wolves on loan.
Speaking about the potential of signing for Barca or Man Utd in 2020, Jose has since hit out at his parent club, suggesting Real Sociedad “have not treated me well.”
“I think they have not treated me well,” Jose told 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.
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“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 Jose fared in the Premier League
Following a season-ending and career-threatening skull fracture to star striker Raul Jimenez earlier this season, former manager Nuno Espirito Santo was desperate to bolster his frontline in the winter window, recalling Patrick Cutrone from his loan spell at Fiorentina.
Espirito Santo also looked to bring in fresh recruits as Wolves were struggling at the time to rediscover the form that catapulted them up to seventh in 2019/20, eventually securing the services of Jose on loan from Real Sociedad.
The 29-year-old Brazilian never firmly adjusted to the pace of Premier League football, netting just one goal in 17 appearances as the West Midlands club finished a disappointing 13th, which culminated in Espirito Santo’s eventual departure from Molineux.
Jose’s only goal for the club came in a 1-0 win over Sheffield United, which confirmed the Blades’ relegation back to the Championship, and he has since returned to his parent club, while Wolves have appointed Bruno Lage to succeed Espirito Santo, with the latter also joining Tottenham.