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Leeds United: Barcelona interested in Illan Meslier

Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier is attracting interest from FC Barcelona.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a claim made by Spanish journalist Gerard Romero (via Sport Witness), who stated that the 21-year-old goalkeeper is one of four options Xavi Hernandez is considering a move for in the event that Marc-Andre ter Stegen were to leave the Camp Nou at the end of the current campaign.

Romero goes on to claim that Ajax’s Andre Onana, Wolfsburg’s Koen Casteels and Fiorentina’s Bartlomiej Dragowski are the other three candidates who Barcelona believe could potentially replace their current 29-year-old number one.

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Leeds must avoid Meslier disaster

Considering just how important a part of Marcelo Bielsa’s side Meslier has become since his £5.85m permanent switch to Elland Road in the summer of 2020, were Leeds to lose the services of the France U21 international at the end of the season, it would undoubtedly be an outcome that would leave the 66-year-old manager furious.

Indeed, over his 35 Premier League appearances last season, the £18m-rated shot-stopper kept 11 clean sheets and made an average of four saves per game – the second-most of any ‘keeper in the league.

These returns saw the player who Bielsa himself claimed “transmits security” earn a highly impressive seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.13, ranking him as the Whites’ fourth-best player in the top flight last time out.

And, after putting pen to paper on a new £22k-per-week contract which runs until 2026 back in August, the goalkeeper has once again been in impressive form over his 16 Premier League appearances in the current campaign, keeping three clean sheets and making an average of 3.1 saves per fixture – the joint seventh-most in the division.

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These metrics have seen the 21-year-old average a SofaScore match rating of 6.94, ranking him as Bielsa’s sixth-best performer so far this term.

As such, with it appearing as if Victor Orta and Bielsa believe that Meslier will be Leeds’ number one shot-stopper for many a year to come, the ‘keeper being pinched by one of the biggest clubs in the world – a move that would surely tempt the Frenchman – next summer would come as a gutting blow to both the director of football and manager, who simply must do all they can to ensure there is no way for Barcelona to get a deal over the line for the former FC Lorient man.

In other news: LUFC handed huge Jan boost on “unbelievable” £34m-rated “storm”, Bielsa surely buzzing

Article title: Leeds United: Barcelona interested in Illan Meslier

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