Leeds United are ‘prepared’ to trigger our option to buy clause for FC Lorient loanee Illan Meslier, according to the Mirror.
The France Under 20 international has impressed club chiefs during his limited appearances in the first-team under Marcelo Bielsa, who called on Meslier to make his Whites debut away to Premier League Arsenal in the FA Cup in January.
Meslier has since made his Championship bow and kept back-to-back clean sheets against Hull City and Huddersfield Town in the absence of Kiko Casilla, with the Spaniard suspended for racially abusing Jonathan Leko.
The hierarchy at Elland Road are said to have seen enough from Meslier in his brief outings to date to believe he can be the heir to Casilla’s position between the sticks full-time, and will trigger our purchase clause once the summer window opens.
United and Lorient agreed on a clause of around £5million last year whilst the clubs were negotiating Meslier’s temporary transfer away from the Ligue 2 side, whom the towering 6 ft 5 shot-stopper has been with since he was six-years-old.
Could Meslier be our #1 'keeper next season?
Leeds seeing enough potential in Meslier to one day take over the mantel from Casilla permanently will come as a huge confidence boost to the 20-year-old, with a trip to Cardiff City coming at the weekend before facing promotion-rivals Fulham in a midweek clash that could vastly strengthen our position in the automatic places.
Whether the club’s confidence in Meslier will see £32,115-per-week Casilla forced out the door in the summer remains to be seen, or whether the club will look to keep the Frenchman as the ex-Real Madrid man’s understudy for at least another year.
Casilla’s future at Elland Road could easily hinge on what Meslier is capable of producing in goal over the next six league games whilst the 33-year-old serves the remainder of his eight-match ban, as a top-performing Meslier may provide enough evidence to suggest he is ready for the number one jersey.
In other Leeds United news, a £9k-p/w man has been urged to quit the club at the end of the season.