By Daniel Feliciano

25th Mar, 2023 | 10:10am

Leeds United could avoid Illan Meslier decision as FC Porto financial troubles send Chelsea and Manchester United elsewhere

Leeds United may have just been handed a major boost in their bid to keep hold of Illan Meslier this summer, with Chelsea and Manchester United circling.

The Whites shot stopper has been linked with a summer exit from Elland Road after recently becoming the youngest goalkeeper to reach 100 appearances in the Premier League.

It’s believed that all of Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham across the “Big Six” in the league will be on the hunt for a new number one this summer, and the 23-year-old is believed to be among their shortlist of targets.

But there has now been a shock revelation on the continent that could potentially take all of those clubs’ attentions elsewhere.

According to a report by 90min (22 March), Portuguese side FC Porto have run into financial troubles and need to raise €50m (£44m) in funds before they’re able to make any signings during the upcoming transfer window.

The quickest way for them to do that is to sell players, and their goalkeeper Diogo Costa is seen as their most saleable asset and all of those aforementioned Premier League clubs are said to be interested too.

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Should Costa sign for one of those, not only does it rule out the prospect of Meslier going there, but it gives Leeds a perfect measuring tool to set their asking price at.

Costa currently has a release clause worth around £65m in his Porto contract, but considering the fact Porto need £44m any team who signs him is likely to be able to secure some kind of discount.

But he is already a full international with Champions League experience, and the chances of Leeds getting the same fee for Meslier seems slim. But that won’t and shouldn’t stop us from asking them for it.

With several years remaining on his contract at Elland Road, there is no rush for Leeds to sell or any reason for us to sell him on the cheap.

He is playing regularly and is young enough that a move to a side competing in Europe will come eventually, if not immediately.

But Leeds are in the driving seat for any negotiations that may take place, and now they have the perfect distraction going on to even further heighten their chances of keeping their star man.

In other Leeds news, the club are ready to offer one key first-team player a new contract.

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