Transfer Gossip: Man Utd, Chelsea battling Bayern for influential Leeds star; Serie A forward wants Arsenal move
Manchester United and Chelsea are in a race with Bayern Munich to sign a highly rated player from Leeds, a Serie A goalscorer wants to join Arsenal next, while Monday’s Transfer Gossip claims Newcastle are in the mix for a Spanish talent.
MAN UTD, CHELSEA EYE ILLAN MESLIER
The chase for Illan Meslier’s signature is hotting up with Man Utd, Chelsea and Bayern all named as clubs wanting to land him from Leeds.
Meslier has enjoyed two and a half good seasons in the Premier League with the Whites. He has proven himself to be a quality shot-stopper, as he regularly faces plenty of efforts due to Leeds’ brazen style of play.
At times, the Frenchman can look like he is flapping for a cross or corner. But overall, he is one of the best young keepers in England and possibly in Europe as a whole. And he is certainly one of the most influential players in the Leeds squad.
His Leeds contract runs until summer 2026 so Jesse Marsch’s team are not worried about a free-transfer exit any time soon. However, they may have to sell if a major club submits a colossal bid for him.
Man Utd and Tottenham have generally been viewed as the prime suitors for Meslier in recent months. According to an update from French source Media Foot, Man Utd are firmly in the race, but Spurs seem to be out of it.
The report states the Red Devils, along with Prem rivals Chelsea, are ‘already on the spot’ for Meslier. Unfortunately for the duo, Bayern will now provide competition to snap him up.
The German giants are searching for a new keeper following Manuel Neuer’s leg break. They like the look of Aston Villa star Emi Martinez but are also considering a move for Meslier.
Bayern have made contact with Meslier’s agent to find out whether he would be open to a transfer there. They are currently awaiting the response.
Leeds man wants Prem stay
Bayern’s initial talks for the 22-year-old put them ahead of Man Utd and Chelsea right now. But there does seem to be one big factor which could see him link up with Man Utd or Chelsea instead.
Media Foot claim Meslier would rather remain in the Premier League than move to a different division. As such, Bayern cannot be considered the ‘favourites’ to complete a deal.
This puts Man Utd and Chelsea in a strong position. Should they view Meslier as a potential signing, then they now need to begin talks with his agent and Leeds to get the move over the line.
Both Erik ten Hag and Graham Potter are facing goalkeeping headaches. Ten Hag wants a replacement for David de Gea, while Potter is currently deciding between Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy.
Meslier would be a great successor for De Gea at Old Trafford. And he can play out from the back well, which is exactly what Ten Hag is looking for.
Chelsea already have two experienced keepers, but both of them have a tendency to make mistakes. Perhaps Potter could change things up completely and capture Meslier from Leeds.
BIG ARSENAL HINT FROM AC MILAN STAR
AC Milan forward Rafael Leao has made a big suggestion his next club could be Arsenal, rather than London rivals Chelsea.
Leao is in great form for Milan, having notched seven goals and nine assists in 20 games this term. He put in some good substitute performances with Portugal at the World Cup and will feel he should have been given a starting spot.
As Leao’s Milan contract expires in summer 2024, the Rossoneri are negotiating fresh terms. But the winger is aware of interest from the Prem and this is making him consider a 2023 transfer.
Chelsea are hot on his trail, while Man Utd view him as a backup option in case they fail to sign Cody Gakpo from PSV. Instead, though, there is a good chance Leao will end up at Arsenal in the future.
During a recent interview, he was asked about playing in England, and he replied by saying (via the Daily Mirror): “Yes, in the future. But now I’m 100 per cent focused on Milan. I’m at a top club and I’m under contract. I also like the city of Milan.”
When quizzed about a side which has impressed him this season, Leao added: “I’ve seen a lot of games this year, I like Arsenal, I think they play very well.”
Clearly, Leao likes the way Arsenal operate under Mikel Arteta. And their exciting brand of football could convince him to join the Gunners ahead of Chelsea or Man Utd.
The only trouble regarding Leao’s Arsenal move is where he would fit in at the Emirates. Arteta’s main wingers are Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. And Arsenal are also close to signing Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.
This leaves little room for Leao to get in the Arsenal starting eleven, unless he moves to centre-forward.
NEWCASTLE VYING WITH JUVENTUS FOR TEENAGER
Newcastle are among the list of clubs plotting a move for Real Valladolid starlet Ivan Fresneda, as per Fabrizio Romano.
The right-back, 18, spent time in the Real Madrid academy before moving to Leganes and then Valladolid. He gained promotion to the Valladolid senior squad in the summer and has gone on to become a regular player in the first team.
Fresneda has impressed during six La Liga outings thus far. And he could be set for a big move if his exciting development continues.
Romano claims ‘many European clubs’ are keeping tabs on him ahead of potential bids. Newcastle, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund are all pursuing Fresneda.
To make it even more interesting, other Prem clubs have set their sights on the Spain U19 international. However, Romano doesn’t name which ones they are.
Fresneda certainly has a big decision to make. He could opt to stay at Valladolid for a few more years to ensure he is close to the finished article when leaving.
Alternatively, the full-back may decide now is the time to make a big switch and try to make it at a larger club. This is a risk, but it could have massive rewards if it works.
Newcastle chiefs have shown they are not just here for the short-term by agreeing to sign young talents like Sven Botman and Garang Kuol. Fresneda could soon join that list, although the Magpies will have to fend off Juve and Dortmund to snare him.
Elsewhere, a pundit thinks Man Utd will be a ‘huge temptation’ for a Premier League star who recently won the World Cup.