Who is Mateo Joseph Fernandez? Forward profiled as Leeds United eye first January transfer window signing

Leeds United are closing in on the signature of Mateo Joseph Fernandez - but who is he?

By Joe Urquhart
Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 1:16 pm

The Whites are finalising the arrival of a new forward to kick off the club's January transfer business. The 18-year-old is expected to undergo a medical at Thorp Arch and will head straight into the club's academy ranks.

Here's what you need to know about him...

Who is Mateo Joseph Fernandez?

He is an 18-year-old forward from Spain.

Fernandez has drawn attention from the likes of Barcelona, Manchester City and Liverpool previously without having played a minute of senior football.

He is currently employed by La Liga outfit Espanyol and has impressed, scoring 44 goals in 56 games across three seasons from under-16 to under-19 level whilst also having featured for Espanyol's B team.

Fernandez will be a signing for the club's academy initially and is a signature sporting director Victor Orta has been chasing for several months.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Getty

He holds Spanish citizenship but is also eligible to represent England through his parents.

The story behind the deal...

If reports in Spain are correct, the youngster had a release clause of £1.3million but was due to be out of contract in the summer.

Leeds appear to have moved swiftly to secure his services to boost their academy ranks before he became a free agent risking the opportunity to bring him to West Yorkshire.

What has been said about him?

Journalist Javier Rodriguez Alonso claimed in Grada: “This outcome is, of course, not the one desired by [Espanyol]. There is regret for the departure of the player, which will happen sooner or later.

“He was considered a player with great potential and if he had agreed to renew he would have been part of the first team’s preseason under Vicente Moreno.”

Spanish journalist Albert Rogé said: “Mateo is on his way to the Premier League. Barcelona tried signing him in the summer but did not meet the financial demands of Espanyol.”