Real Madrid Transfer News: Santos Striker Willian Jose Announces Deal

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2014

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 22: Willian Jose of Santos during the match between Santos and Criciuma for the Brazilian Series A 2013 at Vila Belmiro stadium on September 22, 2013 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Daniel Vorley/Getty Images)
Daniel Vorley/Getty Images

Real Madrid may have missed out on signing Neymar last summer, but the La Liga giants have reportedly sealed a deal to sign another Santos sensation, Willian Jose.

Brazilian website UOL Esporte (h/t 101GreatGoals) announced Wednesday that the 22-year-old striker would be moving to Real's Castilla ranks, with the view of breaking into Los Merengues' first team.

Speaking on his intercontinental move, Willian Jose is quoted saying:

My aim is to be like Casimir, who gained experience [in the B team] and then broke into the senior squad. It’s a great opportunity for my career and I hope to make the best use of it.

Real Madrid are a club of global prominence, and they have some of the best players in the history of football. It will be an honor to wear this shirt.

The young forward refers to fellow countryman and former teammate Casemiro, who made a temporary move to the Bernabeu from Sao Paolo 12 months ago but eventually completed a permanent switch in the summer.

Sky Sports' Paulo Freitas also confirmed the deal:

Willian Jose hasn't been on the books at Vila Belmiro long, having only joined the Santos first team in June, making the move from Gremio. While there, he didn't manage a single first-team performance.

However, after scoring five goals in 18 Brasileiro Serie A starts, per, the young attacker has apparently shown enough to earn the attention of one of Europe's greatest clubs.

Real's reputation for handing their academy graduates' first-team action isn't quite as heralded as rivals Barcelona.

Castilla alumni often have a habit of being sold or loaned elsewhere in Europe, only to come back to the Spanish capital should the club see enough progress during their time away. Current squad examples of this would be Dani Carvajal, Diego Lopez and Alvaro Arbeloa.

However, the cases of Casemiro and Willian Jose represent a seemingly new tactic in the club's master plan.

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 06:  Head coach Carlo Ancelotti of Real Madrid CF looks on prior to the start of the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Celta de Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on January 6, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis D
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The latter will now continue to work with Real Madrid's youth teams for the remainder of the campaign, with Carlo Ancelotti and the rest of the coaching staff likely to run a close rule over their newest acquisition.

Casemiro has shown that rapid progress is possible from such a position, given that he's made eight first-team appearances this term, per, but the latest arrival from Brazil holds yet more promise to excel.