It’s the January silly transfer season, and by now you’re probably already sick of the Willian Jose to Tottenham Hotspur rumors, despite being expelled from the wilds of bat country barely one day ago.
This particular rumor has already sent me on a journey, from “Spurs are interested in this guy” to “Spurs are close to signing this guy” to “Actually, psych they’re nowhere close” to “Hey maybe a loan might be in the works.” It’s wild. It’s the transfer window.
Here’s the latest rumor, who is relaying a transfer rumor (marked EXCLUSIVE) from Football Insider:
[@FootyInsider247] | Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has reached a stalemate in negotiations with Real Sociedad for striker Willian Jose.— Ricky Sacks (@RickSpur) January 23, 2020
Spurs have deemed Sociedad’s £12M valuation for the forward too high despite the Brazilian having a £60M release clause. #THFC #COYS pic.twitter.com/ITrwIuHbjE
So the framing of this tweet is a little wonky, but we’ll get to that in a moment. The actual Football Insider report suggests that Sociedad is asking for £12m for the transfer of Willian Jose. That doesn’t sound like a lot, and it isn’t! It’s certainly not the €30m-50m that were coming out of reports yesterday. But Tottenham apparently don’t even want to go that far, with Football Insider saying that the deal has stalled and that the two sides are some ways off from reaching an agreement.
Now, framing it the way the linked tweet does is certainly, uh, a choice. Willian Jose probably does have an extremely high release clause, but he’s a La Liga player and that kind of thing is almost a standard thing in most Spanish contracts. It’s not that Real Sociedad thinks that Willian Jose is actually worth £60m — it’s that having a high release clause is a way for the selling club to maintain some kind of leverage in negotiations.
The reactions to this on social media have been a predictable mix between “ffs Levy why are you low-balling again” to “why are we even bothering with this guy.” The latter is fair; the former really isn’t. Willian Jose is a 28-year old target man who’s having his best ever season in Spanish football this year, and while he seems like he’s probably a more mobile version of Fernando Llorente who can shoot inside the box, there are serious, SERIOUS questions about just how good a signing this potentially would be.
Frankly, I’m kind of glad that Spurs are holding firm and saying that Willian Jose isn’t worth even £12m right now. He might be useful to Tottenham if someone like Krzysztof Piatek isn’t available, but based on his current stats he’s not worth THAT much. For £8-10m? That feels a lot better. I would much rather Tottenham not get taken to the cleaners on what could be the Louis Saha of 2019, and if that means we don’t sign him, then so be it.
And for god’s sake, just ignore reports about release clauses in Spanish League player contracts. Nobody’s paying that.
Eight days to go. Come on you transfer window.