By Kevin Phillips

24th Jul, 2020 | 8:00am

Exclusive: Phillips thrilled as Leeds agree terms of new signing, Hay says 7-figure fee

Kevin Phillips has claimed “it is crucial” that Leeds United do their business early after they announced the permanent signing of Illan Meslier.

The former Sunderland and West Brom striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, insisted that Marcelo Bielsa would want signings made as swiftly as possible so he knows the squad he is working with next season.

Leeds finalised the signing of goalkeeper Meslier, 20, yesterday in a deal Phil Hay revealed will cost in the region of £5million.

The French shot-stopper has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at Elland Road after an impressive loan spell from FC Lorient.

Meslier kept a staggering seven clean sheets in 10 Championship appearances and conceded just four goals.

When asked by Football Insider if the deal was smart business from the Whites, Phillips said:

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“It is crucial getting players tied down as quickly as you possibly can so that you know the squad you are dealing with straight away. No manager wants to wait until the last minute to bring players in.

“The earlier the better. You can forget about that one and move onto the next target. It is crucial to do your business early.

“Meslier can now go away and enjoy his break knowing where he will be playing next season so it suits everyone.”

The loanee was brought into the starting eleven just before the enforced break after Kiko Casilla received an eight-game ban for racism.

The future of Casilla remains up in the air with teams in his native Spain keen offer the keeper an escape route from Elland Road.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are set to announce a senior exit after terms were agreed with a Championship rival.

PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.