Leeds United have won the race to sign a Spanish attacker with an impressive goalscoring record, according to reports.
Whites chief Victor Orta is busy plotting the club’s signings and departures ahead of the new year. Manager Marcelo Bielsa could need new players this winter if Leeds are to move away from the relegation zone.
They sit in 17th place after 12 outings, having picked up just two victories – against Watford and Norwich City.
Leeds have struggled in attack due to the absence of Patrick Bamford. The Englishman, 28, has been out since late September with an ankle injury.
Bielsa has used Rodrigo up front since then, but the record signing is yet to find a good run of form.
The West Yorkshire club have instead looked to Brazilian winger Raphinha for goals. He is already on five for the campaign, including two in his last two appearances.
One man who could move to Elland Road to improve their threat is Reading ace John Swift. Despite being a central midfielder, the 26-year-old is on eight goals and eight assists from 19 Championship matches this term.
His agent recently admitted that a Leeds transfer would be ‘good’ for Swift’s career.
Orta is not only looking for immediate improvements, he is also hunting for the next big thing.
And it looks as though Leeds have won the race for an exciting Spanish striker. The Express write that they have beaten Barcelona and Man City to the capture of Mateo Fernandez.
He is an 18-year-old with an impressive goalscoring record – 44 strikes in 56 appearances over the last three seasons.
Leeds are expecting to complete a deal with Espanyol over the coming weeks. It will see them pay around £420k for Fernandez’s signature, with the Spaniard arriving in January.
Fernandez is also eligible to represent England. A transfer to the Premier League side may convince him to switch allegiances.
Pundit reveals potential ‘problem’ for Leeds man
Meanwhile, pundit Kevin Campbell reckons Raphinha’s potential move to Liverpool could backfire massively.
The 24-year-old is a top target for Jurgen Klopp as he looks to one day replace Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.
Raphinha’s form in the Prem suggests he would rise to the occasion at Anfield. But Campbell thinks he is best to stay in West Yorkshire.
“I’m sure he won’t want to go anywhere as an impact sub,” the former striker said.
“Liverpool is a massive draw for him, of course it is. But, he is playing every week at Leeds. That is always the problem when you are a club like a Liverpool.
“It’s hard to keep all of these players happy if they are not playing regularly. They’ve got four players at the top end of the pitch now. They are all top-quality as well.
“Where does Raphinha fit in? It is a tough one. Klopp wants to have a strong squad and Raphinha would certainly strengthen it. I just struggle to see where he fits in.”