Chelsea and Newcastle United are in the race to sign Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier, as per French publication RMC Sport.
The French goalkeeper has made an impressive start to the season for the Whites. There is no denying how important he is to his team, given he has started all 16 league games so far this term.
However, Leeds cannot offer him the luxuries that Chelsea, and now Newcastle, can promise. The Magpies and the Blues evidently have the funds to meet any wage demands that the player may have.
Chelsea are a historically huge club in England, especially in the 21st Century, even if they currently sit 10th in the league table. Newcastle, backed by their new Saudi Arabian owners, are the surprise package of the season.
They are on course to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next campaign as they currently sit third in the league table. However, it remains to be seen if Meslier will be interested in leaving Leeds for a team where he may struggle to get playing time.
Newcastle signed highly-rated English goalkeeper Nick Pope from relegated Burnley last summer. The Blues, meanwhile, have two quality goalkeepers in Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Manager Graham Potter has evidently preferred the Spaniard in his starting XI, and the Senegal international has been reduced to a backup role. Unless they decide to offload at least one of the two, Potter will find it impossible to please all of them if Meslier (22) joins his team.
This is where Bayern Munich can fancy their chances. They are reportedly on the lookout for a long-term replacement for Manuel Neuer, who turns 37 in March, and Meslier has been touted as an option.
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Given his preference for Kepa, Mendy's fitness status will arguably have little impact on Chelsea's starting XI in the coming weeks.
However, with a double-header against Manchester City on the horizon, Potter would have wanted two first-team goalkeepers at his disposal in case of a mishap.
The Blues take on City in the league on January 5 before meeting them three days later in the third round of the FA Cup. Speaking before the Premier League encounter, Potter said (h/t Football.London):
"He’s been training a little bit more than he was. He’s not fully fit at the moment but hopefully the next week or so he will make progress."
The former Stade Rennais goalkeeper has featured in just five out of a possible 17 games under the English tactician. Kepa, meanwhile, has featured in 12 matches across competitions during that time.
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