We are assessing Pablo's Leeds United future, reveals Orta
Victor Orta, Leeds United's director of football, says the club are open to discussions over a new contract for Pablo Hernandez with the Spanish midfielder rapidly heading towards the end of his deal at Elland Road.
Orta described Hernandez’s recent comments saying he wanted an extended stay at Leeds as “the first step towards reaching an agreement” amid doubts over whether Hernandez will remain with United for a third year.
The 32-year-old, who has been at Elland Road since the start of the 2016-17 season, admitted last week that he was yet to receive an offer from the club and was uncertain about where his future lay beyond a contract which expires in June.
Hernandez is the only senior player at Leeds whose deal runs out this summer and a number of influential performances this season have so far failed to earn him fresh terms.
United’s squad are under new management following the appointment of Paul Heckingbottom as head coach and Orta said Hernandez’s future would depend in part on Heckingbottom’s desire to keep him.
Speaking during an online question-and-answer session, Orta said: “It’s true that he’s a player who’s out of contract in June. I’ve had several discussions with his agent, talking about the situation, talking about his aim to stay with us.
“That for me is very important. He showed the other day in his press conference that he wanted to stay with us and that for me is the first step towards reaching an agreement.
“Obviously Paul Heckingbottom has an important word in this situation. We’re discussing it and we need to evaluate this situation in the short term.”
Hernandez has played 71 times for Leeds and he admitted last week that he was keen to remain at Elland Road next season.
“I’m very happy here,” Hernandez said. “I feel the fans and my teammates, all the people, would like it if I stay here but it depends not only on me. I don’t receive anything new from the club.”
Orta, whose involvement as director of football at leeds has attracted scrutiny and criticism, also said United would assess the possibility of signing striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga on a permanent basis from Hamburg.
Lasogga has spent this season on loan at Elland Road and appeared to have no future with Hamburg following the Bundesliga side’s decision to send him out last August.
He has one year left on a substantial £50,000-a-week deal, however, and his stock has risen with a recent run of five goals in seven games.
Hamburg are battling relegation from the Bundesliga and Orta said: “They are in a special situation. Pierre, he is happy in Leeds and now his family grows in Leeds with a new child.
“I think it is a situation we can discuss and can be a possibility. With his quality we are obviously evaluating this possibility.
“Pierre is showing his quality. I never doubted him because he’s a quality, top player. Now he is established, he knows more the league, he knows more his team-mates and he’s started to play with confidence."