By Wayne Veysey

30th Dec, 2016 | 6:10am

Leeds transfer close: Monk plans to sign this midfielder in January - reliable journalist

By Alex Stevens

Garry Monk is keen to complete the permanent signing of Pablo Hernandez in the January window, according to a reliable journalist.

Hernandez, who has won four caps for Spain, joined Leeds initially in August from Qatari club Al-Arabi on a five-month loan.

The 31-year-old attacking midfielder has made a big impact at Elland Road and talks are set to accelerate about tying him down.

Yorkshire Evening Post correspondent Phil Hay reported on his personal Twitter account on Thursday night that Hernandez’s loan is due to expire in January and manager Garry Monk “plans to sign him permanently” when the winter window opens next week.

News that a permanent transfer is close will appease fans concerned about the possibility of the Spaniard leaving Leeds next month.

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It appears that Hernandez will not to return to the Middle East, where he moved after his exit from Swansea in the summer of 2014.

The Spaniard has settled in well at Elland Road after a period spent getting re-adjusted to the pace of the English game.

Deployed in a central attacking midfield role, Hernandez has made 17 Leeds appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals and supplying two assists.

He missed seven weeks with a hamstring injury but marked his comeback in Leeds’ Boxing Day win at Preston with the fourth goal in his team’s 4-1 win.

Hernandez also came off the bench in the Yorkshire giants’ 1-1 draw against Aston Villa on Thursday night and instantly brought his touch and poise to proceedings.

Monk confirmed that the former Spain international will be available for a third consecutive appearance when Leeds host Rotherham next Monday.

In other Leeds transfer news, an England international is months away from signing for the club.