Reading land midfielder Alex Fernandez from La Liga side Espanyol

Reading FC Stadium crest

The Royals have secured the loan of Alex Fernandez from Espanyol, with the option of a permanent deal.

Alex Fernandez will spend the 2015-16 season on loan with Reading, after the president of La Liga side RCD Espanyol, Joan Collet, confirmed on Friday an agreement had been reached with the Championship side.

Via the official Espanyol YouTube channel, Collet explained: "We're now exchanging documents for the loan. Alex also knows that Real Madrid have an option to re-sign him, so we're also waiting for their ok, but in principal we have a total agreement."

As part of the deal, Reading have reserved an option to make the move permanent, should the Spanish midfielder make the most of his loan spell. According to Madrid based outlet AS, the fee involved in this scenario is thought to be around £1.3 million.

Regarding the terms of the agreement negotiated with Reading, Collet simply noted: "It's a loan for one year, for this season. Reading have the option to buy Alex, but it's not obligatory."

The 22-year-old was in action for Espanyol against Reading at the Madejski Stadium last Saturday, playing the full ninety minutes as the two sides ground out a 0-0 draw, offering fans an early glimpse of what they can expect.

A product of the Real Madrid youth system, Alex worked his way through the ranks to the B team, RM Castilla, whilst also representing Spain at junior levels through to the Under-20's.

After making his first top-flight appearance in March 2011, with a last-minute substitute appearance against Racing Santander, Alex had to wait until the end of October 2012 for his next first-team outing, against CD Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey.

Despite strong performances with RM Castilla in the Segunda, Alex was allowed to move on in search of opportunities to advance his career. He was quickly snapped up by Espanyol, although Real Madrid retained an option to re-sign him in the future, as part of the move agreed with the Catalan club.

During the 2013-14 season, Alex enjoyed plenty of action with Espanyol, albeit featuring mostly from the bench. He made a total of 30 appearances in all competitions, but just five of those were in the starting eleven.

Last season opportunities were restricted even further for Alex. After making five appearances in La Liga and two in the Copa del Rey, keen to see more regular action, the midfielder was loaned out to Croatian club HNK Rijeka, where he made nine appearances and scored two goals.

Upon returning to Espanyol this summer, Alex was hoping to battle his way back into the plans of manager Sergio Gonzalez. In an interview with AS, he underlined his desire to stay with the Catalan club, keen to prove his worth.

In the end however and despite his participation in pre-season, the conclusion from Sergio Gonzalez is that Alex is surplus to requirements at Espanyol. As such, he will now head to Reading full of enthusiasm to prove himself in England, whilst of course, Reading will hope to make the most of his midfield talents.

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