Leeds United have completed the signing of teenage striker Mateo Joseph Fernandez from Espanyol for a fee believed to be in the region of £900,000.
The 18-year-old had been linked with the Whites through the Autumn months. Fernandez was out of contract next summer, making the winter window the ideal time for suitors to twist Espanyol’s arm.
Barcelona and Manchester City were reportedly also keen, but Victor Orta’s persistence has paid off for Leeds.
Indeed, it was reported earlier on Tuesday that Fernandez was underdoing a medical at Thorp Arch. And now Leeds have confirmed his signing on a three-and-a-half-year deal through to 2025.
The striker, born in Spain but to English parents, will go into Mark Jackson’s Under-23s squad initially.
He comes to Yorkshire boasting an excellent record in Spain. Indeed, he netted 14 goals in 21 appearances for Espanyol’s U19s last season.
Meanwhile, as Fernandez comes in, Leeds have also sent striker Ryan Edmondson out on loan again – this time to League Two Port Vale.
The 20-year-old spent the first half of the campaign with League One Fleetwood, where he made 17 appearances and scored two goals, both in the Papa John’s Trophy.
A statement on Leeds’ official website said: “Leeds United striker Ryan Edmondson has joined Port Vale on loan for the remainder of the 2021/22 season.
“We wish Ryan the best of luck during his time with the Valiants.”
Edmonson has also played on loan at Aberdeen and Northampton during a somewhat nomadic start to his professional career.
Midfielder may follow Mateo Joseph Fernandez
Meanwhile, Leeds United are reportedly looking to bolster their midfield Boubacar Kamara.
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The Daily Mail, via Leeds Live write that Leeds are looking to pip Manchester United to the signing of the Marseille man.
The midfielder is likely to leave Marseille in January, after stalling on a new deal. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, they would prefer to generate cash for him now.
As such, he’s been mentioned as a possible target for new Red Devils boss Rangnick. He’s looking to bolster his midfield after outlining the area as a point of weakness.
The Mail, however, claims that Leeds director of football Victor Orta could yet beat them to the punch.
The 22-year-old would be a welcome addition to the Leeds midfield. A box-to-box midfielder, he has represented France Under-21s and also has Champions League experience.
He also made 43 appearances last season, having become a regular in Jorge Sampaoli. But they would be powerless to prevent him leaving were Leeds to make a sizeable bid.
And any deal to take Kamara to Elland Road would certainly dent Rangnick’s plans. That said, the German is also reportedly casting his eye towards former club RB Leipzig, with Amadou Haidara also on his wishlist.