Young Brazilian striker Willian Jose says it is "a dream come true" to be signing for Real Madrid’s second team Castilla from Santos.
• Rigg: Benzema a key cog
Willian Jose, 22, is a centre-forward who played in Brazil's 2011 Under-20 World Cup-winning side alongside Chelsea's Oscar, Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Madrid's Casemiro, but has since moved around Brazilian clubs Sao Paulo, Gremio and Santos without impressing hugely.
While the move -- reportedly a loan which could lead to a summer permanent deal -- has yet to be confirmed, the youngster has already completed a medical and begun training with his new teammates in Madrid’s reserve/youth team. He told Gazeta Esportiva while posing with a Madrid jersey before flying out of Brazil that he was excited by the opportunity.
“It is a great opportunity and the realisation of a dream,” Willian Jose said. “I am going to give everything to help my teammates.”
According to AS the move has come about as Madrid’s cantera director Ramon Martinez wanted to repeat the impact of last year’s Casemiro transfer and has been searching for more young talent in Brazil all season.
Martinez’s Brazil contact Juni Calafat reportedly sent a Whatsapp message to various agents to say: “I need a forward between 19 and 22 years old for our youth team.” Interest in other promising players including Leandro Damiao, Henrique and Jonathan Marlone had apparently fallen through, leading the club to decide on Willian Jose.
Whether Casemiro’s deal was a success or not is open to question, with the midfielder impressing enough for Castilla last season to lead to a six million euro summer move and contract with Madrid’s senior side -- however he has barely played under Carlo Ancelotti so far this term.
Castilla are currently bottom of the Segunda Division, and well respected coach Alberto Toril was sacked in November, after starlets like Jese Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata moved up and replacements brought in by Martinez not performing as well as hoped.