By Daniel Feliciano

25th Nov, 2022 | 8:40am

Chelsea interest in Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier 'more than legit'

Chelsea are once again keeping tabs on Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier ahead of a 2023 transfer, with their interest “more than legit”, says Simon Phillips.

The Blues were previously linked to the France Under-21 shot-stopper, but it was reported that they had decided to go in another direction with their goalkeeper targets after he was deemed not an upgrade on Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

But a fresh report from reliable journalist Phillips on his official Substack page (24 November), says that Chelsea are still keeping tabs on Meslier ahead of a potential move for him in the summer transfer window.

“I also reported Chelsea’s interest in Illan Meslier from Leeds, but I was told at the time the club felt he would not be an improvement on Mendy right now,” he wrote.

“However, a second source has now told me today that Chelsea are keeping tabs on Meslier, which tells me that our interest is more than legit.

“It does seem though that first instincts from Chelsea were Meslier is just a player they had been considering, and the collective belief is that he would not be ready/good enough for Chelsea. However, these things can always change, and Meslier is certainly a player that Chelsea are keeping tabs on currently.”

Inevitable

Leeds fans will know that sooner or later Meslier is likely to leave the club for one of the big boys if his development continues in the way it’s gone since he joined.

He is still so young and is only getting better, having been tipped to be a future replacement for Hugo Lloris at international level, and Leeds aren’t likely to be playing at the highest level any time soon.

But thankfully the club have been smart enough to tie him down to a long-term deal, with his current contract at Elland Road expiring in 2026, which means we’re in a strong negotiating position if Chelsea or any other club make their interest concrete.

We saw last summer that when Chelsea want a player though they will really push the boat out to get a deal over the line, so Leeds must be wary of any interest and start planning for a replacement just in case.

In other Leeds news, a Sky Sports pundit has blasted the decision to leave one Leeds star at home and not take him to Qatar