Leeds United could save as much as £50million by handing Illan Meslier a new contract, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Whites could not afford to lose the shot-stopper after his impressive performances this season.

As revealed by Football Insider, Leeds are planning to open talks over a much-improved deal for the 21-year-old.

It is understood Meslier has nailed down his place as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper for years to come.

His current deal, signed when he joined permanently last year, is set to expire in 2023.

However, those terms were agreed upon before he established himself as the youngest first-choice goalkeeper in the Premier League.

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McLeish insisted Meslier was now among Leeds’ top stars.

As such, he suggested a new deal was sensible business from the Whites.

McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “The thing we keep repeatedly saying is when you lose your best players, you start to lose football games.

 

“You’ve got to secure them. It’s not easy to paper over the cracks, as we know. We’ve seen it with many top, top clubs, top players, top managers.

“It’s just a brilliant bit of business for Leeds and they’ve got the guy in house. It’s not as if they have to spend £50million on a transfer fee.

“I mean he might get that in his wages with the way the money is, the gravy train now!”

Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier

Meslier has kept nine clean sheets in 28 appearances so far, including in a hard-fought 0-0 draw against high-flyers Chelsea.

He replaced former Real Madrid and Spain keeper Kiko Casilla as Leeds’ first-choice keeper last season.

In other news, Whelan thrilled as “brilliant” Leeds United attacker agrees “massive deal”.