Leeds United have confirmed the signing of Kristoffer Klaesson from Valerenga to provide competition for first-choice goalkeeper Illan Meslier.
After letting Kiko Casilla leave to join Elche on loan earlier this month, Leeds needed to find a new back-up option behind Meslier, who impressed in his first Premier League season. Klaesson featured high up on their shortlist and the deal has now gone over the line.
After undergoing a medical, Klaesson has signed a contract until 2025, joining from the Norwegian side for an undisclosed fee.
He made 56 appearances for Valerenga and has represented his country from under-15 to under-21 level. He has now earned the first transfer of his career, with Leeds securing another important signing.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have also added left-back Junior Firpo from Barcelona, made Jack Harrison’s move from Manchester City permanent, and looked to the future with the additions of Lewis Bate, Sean McGurk and Amari Miller.
In Klaesson, they get another player with potential for the future, but also one who is ready to contribute in the here and now.
Casilla only made five appearances when covering for Meslier last season, so Leeds will be hoping they can count on Klaesson more when needed.
Casilla has no intention to return
Leeds will hope to have bolstered their goalkeeping ranks for years to come with 20-year-old Klaesson supporting 21-year-old Meslier.
The more senior Casilla revealed upon his loan exit that he did not have any plans to return to West Yorkshire next year, thus increasing the importance of this deal for Leeds.
“Six months ago I had the thought of returning to the Spanish league,” Casilla told AS recently.
“I want to thank Leeds, especially [director of football] Victor Orta, for all the facilities they gave me to leave. He knows what I can give to this club.
“It is a normal and current option until the end of the season, but when it ends, if all goes well, there would be no problems to continue. My intention is to stay in Spain.”
With Klaesson now filling the void, Leeds can turn their attention to other targets. Signing a new central midfielder will remain a priority, for example.