Transfer windows can be a cut-throat business for clubs that can’t brag about the financial might of SWFs or philanthropic billionaires.
Leeds United are one of many clubs that fall into this category right now, despite new investment from 49ers Enterprises and Australian shopping mogul Peter Lowy joining the board.
In truth, Leeds United are still not on the same financial footing as Champions League regulars like Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
The French giants have loosened their grip on the Ligue 1 title this season, somewhat surprisingly.
Despite the richest pockets and the most talented team in French football, PSG, led by Qatar Sports Investment, were beaten by Lille OSC on the final matchday.
So it’s understandable that a club of such stature, with astronomical expectations, are perpetually on the lookout for players who can help achieve those incredibly high goals, especially after a concession of this nature.
Head of player agency Yvon Pouliquen Foot Conseil, Yvon Pouliquen has revealed that Paris Saint-Germain are watching Illan Meslier after his debut Premier League campaign.
“He has just played his first season in the Premier League, he will have to confirm [his level] in the second.
“Go to PSG to take over [Keylor] Navas in a year or two, and not playing, what’s the point?
“His development would be much more important if he continued to play in Leeds or elsewhere.
“He left Lorient so as not to sit on a bench “, said Pouliquen.
Meslier’s agent Xavier Fleury said this exact point in an interview in March.
Now, reiterated by the agency chief, it appears there is no will to unnecessarily move Meslier after a positive season.
Pouliquen has clearly defined Meslier’s task with his comments for next season. He – like Leeds United – needs to consolidate his space in the squad.
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The confirmation that Paris Saint-Germain are interested is intimidating, but similar to Liverpool’s supposed interest in Raphinha.
At 21, with an entire season of experience as the Premier League’s No.1 leader, Meslier will be one of the most sought after goalkeepers in the world.
Clubs like PSG are casting a wide net, with screening budgets that allow them to keep an eye on every top young footballer who can become achievable.
With their financial might, very few players are out of reach, so it’s no surprise that they take a close look at many players like Meslier.
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Above all, the message from the Meslier agency is positive for Leeds United. They have made it clear that they don’t want Meslier to move on for fun, but rather play regular football.
Provided Leeds cannot live up to Meslier’s aspirations going forward, there may come a time when the interest of these clubs will become increasingly difficult to stave off.
But this summer, there is little danger of a Meslier departure when – as Pouliquen puts it – he swaps the No.1 jersey in Leeds, for a place on the bench in Paris.