Leeds United could be about to land a Spanish prodigy in young Espanyol footballer Mateo Joseph.
According to the Spanish outlet La Grada, Premier League side, Leeds United have been linked with a move for Espanyol wonderkid Mateo Joesph.
The 17-year-old is among the best talents to emerge from the Catalan side’s Academy in recent years. He has not made a single appearance for the Espanyol senior side but continues to be held in high regard. Joseph currently has one year left on his deal with the La Liga outfit. He is yet to pen new terms and could be on his way out of the RCDE Stadium shortly.
While there is some belief that the player already has an agreement with Leeds, it does not appear to be the case. Espanyol, for their part, do not appear to be averse to selling the teenager. However, they will not do so for anything under their valuation of €1million. Leeds and Espanyol are yet to reach an agreement, and the latter will not budge until the youngster’s termination clause is met.
Leeds are not the first team to enquire about Joseph. Several clubs, including Barcelona, made enquiries regarding him earlier in the summer. However, the La Liga club held firm and refused to sell unless their valuation is met. Some promising Spanish youngsters have made the switch to England, emerging as top-level professionals. The two foremost names on the list are Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique.
Both Catalans moved to Arsenal and Manchester United, respectively, moving up the ranks to the senior side. They eventually returned to Spain and went on to enjoy much glory at the Nou Camp. Whether Joseph will be the next name on the list remains to be seen.
According to the Daily Mail, Leeds United have already discussed a deal with Espanyol below the player’s release clause. While nothing is agreed yet, there is increasing optimism at the Yorkshire side that an agreement can be reached.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side will face competition from not only Barcelona but also Manchester City. While it remains to be seen if they will throw their hat into the ring, both Arsenal and Liverpool are also aware of Joseph’s potential.
The youngster may have been born in Spain, but his parents are English. This should make a move for him easy, given the aftermath of Brexit. Joseph is eligible to represent both Spain and England. As of yet, he is yet to commit to either nation. Whether a move to Elland Road will materialize remains to be seen.