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Report: Spurs and Real Sociedad close to deal for Willian José

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We have to jump through a few hoops on this one, but the sourcing isn’t bad.

Real Madrid v Real Sociedad - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur take on Norwich City this evening in north London and will do so without Harry Kane leading the attack, as we all know. His injury is going to keep him out for at least another two months. The ongoing story for the January window has been whether or not Spurs and Daniel Levy will pony up some money to bring in a striker or roll with a mixture of Son Heung-Min and Lucas Moura.

A report from a few sources (via Sport Witness for translation purposes) suggests that Spurs and Spanish side Real Sociedad are close to an agreement that would send Brazilian striker Willian José to north London. The original sourcing comes from El Diario Vasco:

Diario Vasco reported Spurs had made an offer for the player, which was less than €15m.

Real Sociedad wouldn’t ‘cage’ their player and would be willing to listen to reasonable offers. Diario Vasco suggested €30m would be a reasonable sum.

Spoiler alert: Levy is trying to drive the price down, but it appears there’s been contact and even an opening bid. El Diario Vasco is one of the local papers in San Sebastián, Basque, which is where Real Sociedad are located. José has a €60m release clause, so I’m extremely hesitant to say that Sociedad are going to drop much lower than the €30m asking price.

AS have jumped on the story now, stating that the deal is “a step away” from being done, though that step looks to be the actual transfer terms.

Things have moved very quickly, and AS now report the Brazilian is ‘very close’ to signing for Tottenham’. He’s just a ‘step away’ from joining Jose Mourinho’s club, and will be Tottenham’s answer to Harry Kane’s absence.

The final details of the move are being discussed, but everything is said to be going well. AS even state the player could travel to London on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning to complete his transfer.

That’s going pretty far with a rumor for it to be pure conjecture, but that’s nothing new during silly season. The final sourcing comes from MARCA:

Very interestingly, Marca say Real Sociedad have called youth player Julen Lobete into the senior squad for tonight’s match against Espanyol, because of the negotiations with Tottenham for Willian Jose.

While this is sound reasoning, it’s also pure conjecture. Sociedad could just be calling up a youth player for sh*ts and grins to get him some first team action, so I wouldn’t put much stock into that part. The rest at least isn’t garbage but call me skeptical in believing he will be traveling to London tomorrow when the clubs are that far apart on fee.

As for the player himself, here’s a radar and shot chart:

I mean...it isn’t bad but this doesn’t exactly get the blood going. He’s what Mourinho probably needs: A big body target man. There’s also the concern that, prior to this season, he was average at best. The age doesn’t really bother me at 28 if he’s a spot starter to spell Kane when he comes back.

Your tl;dr is basically this: He’s an above average striker this season and a perfectly fine backup when Kane comes back, but pump the brakes on this move being close to completed. We’ll probably hear more about this after the Norwich match is over. If anything breaks, we’ll have it here.

EDIT (12:50 PM ET): Okay, this is actually a thing now. Willian José has requested removal from the 18 until the situation is resolved.

EDIT #2 (2:04 PM ET): Let’s throw some cold water on this. Athletic UK’s Charlie Eccleshare saying it’s unlikely the striker moves.