Leo Fernandes is a hot commodity.
The former 62nd overall pick by the Union in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft has returned to the club following a year-long loan to the New York Cosmos in 2015. But with a pair of Fernandes-led championships under their belt, the Cosmos want him back.
"The loan of midfielder Leo Fernandes, 23, has expired," the Cosmos said in an official release, "but the club is working to keep him and further his development as a player."
The sense is that Fernandes, an attack-oriented midfielder and one of the Union's brightest young prospects, could be available at the right price. With the Cosmos openly and eagerly pushing for an extension or fresh loan, the Union are at least entertaining offers and testing the return.
"We are very proud of the year Leo had," Union manager Jim Curtin told CSNPhilly.com. "He grew a lot in his year with the Cosmos. He is still a Union player. We are in discussions with the Cosmos as to what is best for both Leo and our club."
The Cosmos' hunger for Fernandes is for good reason. After ranking sixth in NASL with eight goals and three assists in 27 games, the Brazilian-born player helped his team to a Spring Season and Soccer Bowl 2015 championship. At just 23, he was voted the NASL's Young Player of the Year.
In 2016, he could be even better.