Agreement reached: Leeds to sign international midfielder at start of next week - report
By Harry Sykes
Leeds will complete the signing of Pablo Hernandez from Qatari club Al-Arabi at the start of next week, according to a report.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claim the high flying Championship club have reached an agreement with Al-Arabi over the terms of the transfer.
It is said that attacking midfielder Hernandez, whose five-month loan from the Middle East club expired on Monday, will sign permanently until the end of the season and the deal will include a 12-month option which can be triggered in the summer to keep him at Elland Road until 2018.
Hernandez, who has won four caps for Spain, joined Leeds initially in August from Qatari club Al-Arabi on a temporary deal.
The former Valencia player, 31, took time to re-acclimatise to the English leagues following his move to Elland Road but his improving form as the team’s playmaker coincided with a dramatic upturn in Leeds’ results after a poor start to the Championship term.
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In total, he has made 18 appearances in all competitions for the club this season, which have yielded three goals and three assists.
The permanent signing of Hernandez will be a major boost to manager Garry Monk as he continues to reshape a squad that has exceeded all expectations this season.
Leeds ended the festive period fifth in the Championship table and well placed to challenge for promotion in the second half of the campaign.
Football Insider verdict:
Hernandez may no longer be the speedy winger who once scorched full-backs for fun, but he has adapted his game to be a canny playmaker with the technique and invention to create space and opportunities for his younger teammates. In the Championship battlegrounds, the Spaniard provides a touch of class and Leeds always look a better team when he is conducting the orchestra from the No10 position that he has made his own this season.
In other Leeds transfer news, a 25-year-old has signed for the club after agreeing terms.