By David Woods

12th Dec, 2019 | 7:16am

Phil Hay: Leeds can sign rising star for £4.5m after club bust-up, half the price he was in 2018

Athletic journalist Phil Hay has said that Leeds United have an option to sign young goalkeeper Illan Meslier and that it would cost them £4.5m to make his move permanent. 

That might sound like a lot of money for a player who wasn’t even in the squad for the recent game against Hull, but Meslier is seen as a talent for the future.

He will be seen as a steal by some, too.

Monaco offered his parent club Lorient £9m for Meslier 18 months ago when the goalkeeper was just 18.

Lorient turned that down but the two have since had a major falling out.

Lorient signed goalkeeper Paul Nardi in the summer and Meslier found out just a few days before the start of the season that he wouldn’t be the club’s number one.

That led to the loan move to Leeds with an option to buy.

French football writer Arnaud Huchet has said, “The bond between him and Lorient is broken. Meslier got angry when the coach told him (he would be behind Nardi). I don’t think he will play here again.”

We’ve heard that Meslier will get the gloves if Kiko Casilla is banned, with an upcoming hearing for racist abuse.

That will thrust him into the spotlight and provide a real test of his credentials, possibly before Leeds would like.

However, we’ve seen him a lot for the Under-23s this season and he could be a very special player.

He’s a Bielsa player too – he’s good with his feet and possesses a wide range of passing. He’s also pretty good at stopping penalties.

Casilla as the number one with Meslier a £4.5m signing waiting to take over from the master in the Premier League? That’s a very solid footing for the future.

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