Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa

Noel Whelan insisted Leeds United need to sign a better goalkeeper than Kiko Casilla and Illan Meslier if they are promoted to the Premier League. 

The former Elland Road forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested the spine of Marcelo Bielsa’s side is not strong enough to compete in the top flight of English football.

Earlier today Football Insider revealed that United are in advanced talks with Lorient to sign Meslier permanently and are ready to activate the £5million release clause in his loan irrespective of whether they are promoted.

The 20-year-old has impressed since deputising for the suspended Casilla after the Spanish keeper was found guilty of racially abusing Charlton loanee Jonathan Leko.

When asked if he would welcome the signing of the Lorient goalie on a permanent basis, Whelan told Football Insider: “He has done OK but I think we need to sign a better goalkeeper than Casilla. I think we need to go in and try and find somebody that is going to be more consistent.

“Casilla might end up being number two, not a bad number two to have quite frankly. Keep Meslier at the club as one for the future but once you have had a taste of first-team football you want it every single week. It is whether he would be happy to be third-choice.

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“If we get promoted we need to improve the spine of the side, it is an absolute must. You need quality through that spine and if you have not got that you are going to struggle. It is worth the money, getting a great goalkeeper.”  

Meslier has made three appearances for the Whites, keeping a clean sheet in both of his Championship starts.

The EFL, along with the FA and Premier League, announced on Friday that all fixtures are suspended until April 3 at the earliest.

In the latest Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has told Football Insider what EFL suspension means for the future of Jean-Kevin Augustin.