By Wayne Veysey

23rd Mar, 2020 | 10:30am

Sources: Leeds in line to seal big-money signing by mid-May

Leeds United have to activate the £5million option to sign Illan Meslier permanently from Lorient by a specific date, Football Insider understands.

The Yorkshire giants have held talks with the loan goalkeeper’s French parent club about converting his season-long loan into a full-time transfer.

A Leeds source has told Football Insider that the trigger option in Meslier’s loan contract expires at a specified date, believed to be in mid-May.

Should United not activate that, they would be forced to renegotiate the deal and lose their exclusive option.

That is unlikely as all parties are working towards completing a transfer that may even be finalised before Leeds’ Championship campaign resumes.

Meslier himself is eager to remain at Elland Road in the long-term as he believes his game has developed considerably under Marcelo Bielsa and his coaching staff.

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As reported by Football Insider, Leeds have have indicated in recent talks with Lorient they will activate the £5million purchase option irrespective of promotion.

But the Championship leaders are prepared to wrap up the deal early and not wait for the outcome of a campaign that hangs in the balance.

Meslier has been thrust into the spotlight after number one Kiko Casilla was hit with an eight-match racism ban and returned to his Spanish homeland.

The France Under-20 international kept clean sheets in his first two Championship matches, against Huddersfield Town and Hull City, before the suspension of football across the globe.

Meslier has now made three appearances in total for Leeds, with his debut coming in the FA Cup against Arsenal in January.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are set for a near-£50million announcement.