Rumour Has It: Bayern Munich eye Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier

By Sports Desk January 04, 2023

Bayern Munich, Newcastle United and Chelsea are reportedly all interested in promising Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Meslier, 22, arrived at Elland Road on loan as a 19-year-old in 2019, forcing his way into the starting role as they won the Championship and earned promotion before the club made his deal permanent for £5million.

Since then, he has become the youngest goalkeeper to reach 50 Premier League appearances, and the youngest goalkeeper to tally 10 Premier League clean sheets, earning 11 caps for France's under-21 team in the process.

His exploits – including a season-high nine saves in a 2-1 win against Liverpool in October – have caught the eye of some of Europe's big spenders, and Leeds could be forced into a tough decision sooner rather than later.

 

TOP STORY – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE HOPEFULS QUEUE UP FOR LEEDS' MESLIER

According to RMC Sport, Bayern view Meslier as a potential long-term successor to Manuel Neuer, although they need the reinforcements as soon as possible due to Neuer's season-ending injury.

Leeds will be in the driver's seat in negotiations, however, with Meslier's contract tying him to the club until 2026.

Meanwhile, Chelsea and Newcastle have been impressed with his performances in the Premier League and would like to add him to their ranks.

It was reported two weeks ago by the Daily Mail that Eduoard Mendy had rejected a six-year contract extension from Chelsea, which would add fuel to this fire, while it is unclear how Newcastle view Nick Pope in their long-term plans.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting Bayern, Newcastle, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain will all make a run at signing 21-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Manu Kone at the end of the season.

– According to The Times, Brentford are in the final stages of a £22m move for 21-year-old Freiburg forward Kevin Schade.

Chelsea will make a late charge for 21-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk winger and Arsenal target Mykhaylo Mudryk, per Fabrizio Romano.

– Calciomercato is reporting 24-year-old Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie has turned down transfers to Bournemouth and Aston Villa in the hope of landing at a bigger club.

– According to The Athletic, Manchester United could still sell right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka this month despite starting in all three of United's wins since the Premier League season resumed.

Related items

  • England 0-0 Slovenia: Three Lions top group despite underwhelming display England 0-0 Slovenia: Three Lions top group despite underwhelming display

    England finished first in Group C at Euro 2024 but again disappointed during their goalless draw with Slovenia in Cologne on Tuesday.

    The Three Lions endured another flat display in front of goal, with Bukayo Saka's ruled out first-half effort the only real moment of quality from Gareth Southgate's side.

    An injection of pace from substitute Cole Palmer threatened to spark England into life, but a winning goal eluded them as they finished with just five points from their three group games.  

    Despite the draw, England topped Group C following Serbia's goalless draw with Denmark, meaning they avoided a last-16 tie against hosts Germany. Matjaz Kek's side, meanwhile, secured their place in the knockout stages for the first time ever at a major tournament.

    With hopes of a fast start from the Three Lions, it was Slovenia who registered the first effort as Benjamin Sesko saw his header comfortably gathered by Jordan Pickford. 

    England thought they had taken the lead when Saka rounded off a slick attacking move, only to see what would have been his 12th international goal ruled out for offside.

    Kieran Trippier came close to providing the opening goal, but his teasing delivery evaded both Conor Gallagher and Harry Kane inside the Slovenia penalty area. 

    The introduction of Kobbie Mainoo for Gallagher at half-time aimed to add some attacking impetus, with his presence instantly sparking the absent pace from the England midfield. 

    John Stones almost marked his 75th England appearance with a goal as he saw his header cleared off the line, with Marc Guehi unable to keep the loose ball alive. 

    England continued to create a flurry of potential opportunities, with Declan Rice flashing an effort wide of Jan Oblak's goal and substitute Cole Palmer also seeing his effort repelled by Slovenia's number one. 

    The result for Southgate's side confirmed Croatia's elimination from the tournament, with the full-time whistle greeted with frustration by the England support as Slovenia celebrated a remarkable achievement.

    England yet to dazzle, but get the job done

    With the expectations of England's plethora of attacking options possibly being enough to win the tournament on their own, it was yet another underwhelming display. 

    A front three of Kane, Saka and Phil Foden managed just two shots on target between them, with the trio also managing just nine touches in Slovenia's penalty box. 

    With much of the focus surrounding Jude Bellingham, the Los Blancos star was a shadow of the man who scored 23 goals for Real Madrid this season. 

    The 20-year-old completed 86% of his 57 passes, the second-lowest of England's midfield behind Gallagher (85%) and an improvement will be needed regardless of whoever England's last-16 opponents end up being.

    Resilient Slovenia get their rewards

    Despite failing to win a game at Euro 2024, Slovenia proved difficult opponents for each of Group C's sides and have received their just rewards. 

    Slovenia are now undefeated in their last 4 games in the Euros, their longest unbeaten streak in the competition (since at least 1992).

    Kek's side can also take pride from maintaining their unbeaten record arriving into the tournament, and have now not tasted defeat in their last nine matches in all competitions (W4 D5), matching the longest ever unbeaten run in their history (9 games between September 2020 and March 2021).

    It remains to be seen who awaits Slovenia in the next round, but they can take pride with their sensational achievement on the international stage. 

  • Denmark 0-0 Serbia: Danes book Germany date in round of 16 Denmark 0-0 Serbia: Danes book Germany date in round of 16

    Denmark booked their place in the last 16 of Euro 2024 as they drew 0-0 with Serbia, who were eliminated.

    The Danes went into the last matchday of Group C knowing a victory could see them through as winners, but instead Kasper Hjolmund's team had to settle for second, meaning they will take on hosts Germany on Saturday.

    Serbia, on the other hand, needed a win to stand any chance of progressing, but with Novak Djokovic watching on from the stands in Munich, Dragan Stojkovic's could not get over the line.

    They had their chances. Luka Jovic had a goal disallowed and Aleksandar Mitrovic, who had two penalty appeals waved away, curled just wide.

    Dusan Vlahovic also went close with a late header that looped onto the roof of the net, but the Danes got the job done, despite not winning a match in Group C.

    England, who also drew 0-0 with Slovenia in the other game, top the group.

    Data Debrief: Serbia's major slump

    Serbia are winless in their last eight major tournament matches (drawn two, lost five) since a 1-0 win over Costa Rica at the 2018 World Cup. They last had a winless run as long as this at tournaments between 1974 and 1982 as Yugoslavia (eight games).

    Indeed, since winning four consecutive matches between January and June 2023, Serbia have only won four of their 14 games in all competitions (drawn four, lost six) and have kept just two clean sheets during that span.

  • Everton re-sign Harrison on loan from Leeds United Everton re-sign Harrison on loan from Leeds United

    Everton have confirmed the loan signing of Jack Harrison, who has re-joined the club from Leeds United.

    Harrison spent the 2023-24 campaign on loan with the Toffees, featuring 29 times in the Premier League as Sean Dyche's team stayed up despite having a total of eight points deducted due to breaches of financial regulations.

    The 27-year-old scored three goals, from an expected goals (xG) of 3.6, while also laying on three assists, creating 28 chances in total for his team-mates.

    On Monday, Everton announced they had struck a deal with Leeds, who lost to Southampton in the Championship play-off final in May, for Harrison to return to Goodison Park for the upcoming campaign.

    Dyche told Everton's official website: "We're pleased Jack will be returning to our squad and look forward to working with him again.

    "He made an important contribution to the progress we made last term, both in terms of our attacking output and the defensive steel throughout the team, while his work ethic and willingness to put in the hard yards matches what we expect from our players."

    Harrison marks Everton's second signing of the transfer window, following the arrival of Tim Iroegbunam from Aston Villa for a reported £9million fee.

    In return, winger Lewis Dobbin joined Villa for £10m.

    It has been reported that both Everton and Villa are in danger of breaching the Premier League's financial rules for the 2023-24 accounting period, though these deals will have helped ease those fears somewhat.

    Everton are reportedly in talks to sign Marseille attacker liman Ndiaye, while Newcastle United are rumoured to have cooled their interest in Toffees' striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.