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LIGA MX

Real Betis striker Willian José said to be wanted by Liga MX side, Cruz Azul

La Máquina are said to be chasing a former Real Madrid man in an attempt to carry on Mexico’s plucking of Spain’s top talent.

Update:
La Máquina are said to be chasing a former Real Madrid man in an attempt to carry on Mexico’s plucking of Spain’s top talent.
Fran SantiagoGetty Images

Mexican clubs continue to cast their eye over Spain’s top division and now it seems that it’s Cruz Azul’s turn to take control of the grappling claw machine and choose their new toy. La Máquina are said to be eyeing up a move for Real Betis forward Willian José, who appears to be on the fringes of Manuel Pellegrini’s squad for the upcoming campaign. It has been confirmed that the club are in negotiations with Real Betis over signing the Brazilian.

The striker, now 31-years-old, scored just 6 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions last season for Real Betis. The player’s contract with the Andalucian club ends in 2026, meaning that Cruz Azul, were they to sign the striker, would be required to pay a fee.

Willian José played just a handful of times for Real Madrid before being sent to Zaragoza.
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Willian José played just a handful of times for Real Madrid before being sent to Zaragoza.PAULINO ORIBEDIARIO AS

Betis and Cruz Azul currently negotiating for Willian José

In his second year at Betis, Willian José found life difficult, and now looks set to become third or even fourth choice striker at the club, given the fact that Raúl, on loan at Mirandés last season, is poised to play second fiddle to number one option, Borja Iglesias. Willian José joined Betis through an obligatory purchase agreement for over €11 million after a one-year loan from Real Sociedad; it is now understood the player is, as a result of his place in the pecking order, in favour of any potential deal with Cruz Azul.

Mexico has already taken a huge talent from Spain - and Real Betis - during this summer: Sergio Canales. The midfielder, also formerly of Real Madrid, signed for Monterrey in July and it appears that he was just the first of a potentially flurry of signings by Mexican clubs from the Spanish league.

A loan to another Spanish side was seen as a more plausible option for Willian José, who is in search of more minutes in the 23/24 campaign. However, the positive relationship between Betis and Mexico - no doubt partly due to the deal between Canales and Monterrey - has changed things overnight, and the forward now looks likely to move to Liga MX.