Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa must avoid selling Illan Meslier this summer amid recent comments from his agent about Paris Saint-Germain’s transfer interest.
According to previous reports from The National, the French giants have identified Meslier as a more attainable option than the likes of Hugo Lloris and David de Gea, and are considering making a bid for the Leeds man this summer – it’s added that a switch to Paris could well tempt the 21-year-old.
Yvon Pouliquen, head of the Foot Conseil player agency which represents the Leeds man, has said: “PSG are watching, but Illan’s goal is to play, especially at his age. He has just had his first season in the Premier League, he will have to confirm (his level) in the second.
“Going to PSG to take over from (Keylor) Navas in a year or two, and not play, what’s the point? His development would be much greater by continuing to play at Leeds or elsewhere. He left Lorient so as not to sit on a bench.”
In his debut campaign in the Premier League, Meslier showed the kind of enormous potential he possesses, helping to keep an impressive 11 clean sheets, good enough to place him joint-fifth in the division.
Speaking previously on The Inside Elland Road Podcast, the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Graham Smyth said: “He’s been great, hasn’t he? For a 20-year-old, for £5m, I mean Victor Orta – it feels almost illegal what he’s done getting a player of that quality at that age for £5m, remarkable business.”
The young Frenchman’s ability with his feet has always been one of his standout attributes, with Jermaine Beckford raving: “The kid is incredible. I was watching the game (against Everton) and there were a couple of moments, (Dominic) Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and James (Rodriguez) had chances, but Meslier stood in their way. His distribution is one of the best in the Premier League.”
His performances in the Premier League have seen his value shoot up, with CIES now rating him at a huge £26m, and that’s a real statement on just how much he has grown.
Given how he has usurped Kiko Casilla into becoming Leeds United’s undisputed number one, cashing in on his this summer, would surely have Bielsa livid at losing one of his key players.
Much of the summer talk will no doubt be centred around Raphinha amid links with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United, but going into the new season without their first-choice goalkeeper would be a hammer blow to Bielsa’s side.
While his agent’s comments are reassuring, the Whites must ensure they don’t get tempted into selling him even if a big-money bid comes in from Paris this summer.