Leeds United star Pablo Hernandez missed out on the club’s latest preseason friendly as transfer rumours emerged in Israeli newspaper Ynet that Maccabi Tel Aviv are interested in the midfielder – but respected journalist Phil Hay has stated the club want to keep the star.
The Peacocks took on North Ferriby United as part of their ongoing preparations ahead of the 2017-18 Championship campaign but without the appearance of one of their first-choice attacking midfielders.
Hernandez missing tonight too. Reports in Israel claim Maccabi Tel Aviv want him, although no suggestion that Leeds want him to go. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) July 12, 2017
It is believed that the 32-year-old has caught the attention of Tel Aviv, who won their Europa League qualifier first leg against KR Reykjavik 3-1.
Whilst the club’s interest seems unexpected, United’s ex-CEO Ben Mansford currently holds a position in the Israeli club’s front office and has previously worked with the forward.
Hernandez is under contract with the West Yorkshire club for one more year after having his contract extended back in May.
The creative playmaker moved to Elland Road on loan from Qatari side Al Arabi in January and has since established himself as an integral part of the Leeds squad.
The Spaniard was a key figure for Leeds last season, scoring six goals and eight assists making him the joint-second highest goal-scorer.
He also made other mammoth contributions towards the club’s successful campaign, particularly thriving from corners and free kicks.
The news of Hernandez’s possible move away from Leeds doesn’t come as a total shock as the arrival of Spanish midfielder Samu Saiz means the two would be directly competing for the same position.
The 26-year-old recently signed for United from Huesca on a four-year deal, becoming one of the latest new forwards brought in by Whites boss Thomas Christiansen.
With major changes and renovations going on at Leeds, Hernandez could potentially be looking for game time elsewhere as he may become more expendable for the club.