By George Overhill

10th Jan, 2023 | 7:40pm

Illan Meslier exit fears rise as Leeds United linked to Senne Lammens signing

Senne Lammens reportedly closing in on a move to Leeds United has raised fears over the future of Illan Meslier among a pair of BBC journalists.

The Whites French star has been interesting very rich clubs including Chelsea [Foot Mercato, 3 January], Bayern Munich and Newcastle [RMC Sport, 3 January] in recent weeks, while Club Brugge keeper Lammens was reported to be “on his way” to Elland Road by Belgian outlet HLN on 8 January.

Reacting to the reports that Leeds United were planning to sign a new keeper, BBC pair Adam Pope and Jonny Buchan, immediately jumped to the conclusion that there may be a corresponding exit at the position, with Meslier the obvious sought-after target.

Speaking on BBC podcast Don’t Go To Bed Just Yet on Monday night (9 January, 21min) Pope said: “A keeper? Wow, I’d be amazed if they spent there. Because [Tristan] Danique van den Heuvel’s back in action now, he played for the [under]21s didn’t he?

Simon Rix of the Kaiser Chiefs said: “If you’re buying a keeper what does that mean, logically?”

Pope reacted, saying: “Wow. Wow, that means another keeper is going. Which really good keeper have Leeds got?”

Buchan then added: “They can’t afford that to happen, they really can’t afford that to happen.”

Ominous

It is only a matter of time before Meslier becomes the next Raphinha or Kalvin Phillips and an exit becomes inevitable.

But Jesse Marsch and this Whites side simply cannot afford for it to be this month, with Premier League survival once again in the balance and the 22-year-old crucial to the team.

When the United man breaks into the senior French set up it is only going to increase the spotlight on him, especially considering the amount of top level experience he has at such a young age.

If Lammens is coming in during January then the hope has to be that a loan for Kristoffer Klaesson is the reason, or that the club are planning early to replace Joel Robles who signed a one-year deal prior to the season.

It is going to be a big task to replace Meslier when he does go, but surely there is no chance that the club would consider derailing the season at the mid-point even if a big offer came in now.

He will command a major fee whenever he leaves, but the amount of money that top flight survival is worth to the club at this point is much greater.

In other Leeds United news, sources have claimed that the deal is done for a Whites player to arrive at a new club.