Newcastle join Chelsea, Bayern Munich in race to sign key Leeds United man

Illan Meslier, Emiliano Martinez Leeds v Aston Villa March 2021

Newcastle United have reportedly joined the race to sign Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier, with Bayern Munich and Chelsea also keen on the stopper.

The France international has been Jesse Marsch’s consistent choice between the sticks for the Whites, but they could be tempted into a sale with a generous offer.

With three mega-money clubs now vying for Meslier’s signature, it seems a January deal has a real chance of happening.

At just 22, Meslier is one of the highest-rated young keepers in Europe at the moment, with the potential to get even better – so it’s clear to see why interest is growing in the Frenchman.

Last season, Meslier was one of the best-performing keepers in the Premier League, making the most saves in the division with 143, which was ultimately a key factor in Leeds avoiding relegation.

The Whites’ No.1  has been in fine form once again in the current campaign, making more saves than 75% of other keepers in the league. Overall, after 16 appearances he has kept three clean sheets, including a fine performance against Newcastle last week.

It would undoubtedly be a huge loss for Leeds should Meslier leave the club midseason, as they have had to rely on his goalkeeping heroics on numerous occasions.

However, with three wealthy clubs in Newcastle, Chelsea and Bayern looking to sign him this winter, according to RMC Sportthey may struggle to turn down a sizeable offer.

Meslier a smart long-term option for chasing trio

Two days ago, Newcastle recalled goalkeeper Martin Dubravka from his loan spell at Manchester United, but according to reports are already looking to sell him in the current window.

Indeed, given they were willing to loan him to a Premier League rival, it suggests that Eddie Howe doesn’t really trust him. Thus, they are now looking for reinforcements to back up the in-form Nick Pope.

Meslier would represent a fantastic long-term option. As mentioned, the Frenchman is still a youngster and could gain some valuable experience playing alongside Pope. The only question is, would he be willing to leave Elland Road to be second choice on Tyneside?

As for Chelsea, it’s looking likely that Edouard Mendy will be leaving the Blues, given he recently rejected a new contract offer after being ‘insulted’ by their failure to meet his wage demands. 

He has also been out of favour with Graham Potter of late, starting just nine matches in the Premier League this season after falling behind teammate Kepi Arrizabalaga in the pecking order.

Therefore, similarly to Newcastle, Meslier would be another long-term option and could even have the quality to become Chelsea’s main choice for the rest of the season, if he can keep up his current run of form.

Finally, Bayern are desperate to sign a good quality goalkeeper this winter, after Manuel Neuer broke his leg whilst skiing during the World Cup break.

Their backup option Sven Ulreich is not trusted by Bayern’s manager Julian Nagelsmann, so the German club are keen to add a temporary replacement for Neuer before the Bundesliga restarts on January 13.

Transfermarkt value Meslier at an estimated £22m, but it is believed that to force a midseason transfer, the fee would have to be at least double that for Leeds to consider a sale.

As we know, though, money is not really a problem for Newcastle, Chelsea or Bayern – so it is possible that he could be on the move this winter.

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