Mateo Joseph is in Argentina and preparing to help England’s Under-20 side win the World Cup this summer along with Darko Gyabi – but amid reports Barcelona could scout him, Leeds have got to sort out his future immediately.

Joseph, 19, joined Leeds in January 2022 and initially struggled. Indeed, he managed just one goal in seven games during the second half of last term. This season, his form has been superb – scoring 17 in 23, laying on two assists.

He has also broken into the senior side and clocked up six first-team outings. But he will be missing for the rest of the campaign, after being selected in Ian Foster’s side. The Spain-born star excelled in the last international break.

He scored a brace and won three caps in March, which was enough to convince Foster to call up Joseph for the tournament in Argentina. Gyabi also travelled. Mundo Deportivo say Barcelona scouts could keep an eye on him.

His contract at Elland Road ends in 2025. A move to Barcelona would without doubt tempt Joseph, despite picking England – although, that does not mean he has to choose England at senior level. He has been brought up in Spain.

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Barcelona could scout Joseph: Leeds have got to sort his future out

Captaining the 21’s and leading them to promotion with his goals will certainly have attracted plenty of European scouts. If he can continue to show that kind of goalscoring pedigree in Argentina, there will be big-name interest.

But if Leeds are to keep their striker gem at Elland Road, then handing him a new deal with first-team assurances is key. It is something Leeds have got to do, and do it soon, before Barcelona come calling for a second time in a year.

Leeds do have other options but let’s be honest, Rodrigo is likely to leave this summer and Patrick Bamford is not the striker he was in 2020-21. Joseph is the future for Leeds – described as a “warrior” by Michael Skubala.

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