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?

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

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.”