Barcelona have discontinued their interest in signing Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose, according to a report in Marca.
It is said that the decision was taken by the Catalan club’s sporting management on Wednesday afternoon, as they were not prepared to pay in excess of €30m for the player – the fee that was being demanded by La Real.
Tottenham are said to have had a €20m bid for the Basque-based striker rejected by La Real last month and the club were said to be reluctant to increase this offer.
Willian Jose then refused to play for Real Sociedad in their Copa del Rey clash against Espanyol out of protest against this offer being rejected.
Indeed, earlier on Wednesday Real Sociedad boss Imanol Alguacil said he was confident the player would stay at the club.
“We have discussing his future for a month and the team has not been affected, and neither has the player,” Imanol explained in his pre-match press conference for the Copa del Rey semi-final against Mirandes, as cited by Marca.
“It is another week talking about Willian and, luckily, we have him with us. I understand that until the end of the season he will be with us.
“Barcelona want him? Then pay his €70m clause.”
The 28-year-old has netted 53 goals for La Real since he joined the club in the summer of 2016 from Deportivo Maldonado and following stints at Las Palmas and Real Sociedad.
Barcelona will be allowed to make a signing from another Spanish club outside of the transfer window after it was confirmed that Ousmane Dembele faces a minimum of five months out.