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Chelsea handed summer transfer opening after January links – but on one condition



(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Leeds United star Illan Meslier is open to a move to Chelsea this summer – but only on one condition.

The 23-year-old was relegated with Leeds last month as their stay in the Premier League came to end. As a result, his future at Elland Road is now unclear.

Speaking to RMC Sport, as relayed by GFFN, he reflected: “We’re obviously disappointed. Going down in the Championship… there’s a feeling of regret and disappointment.”

It will be a new-look Leeds side next season as they search for a new manager after the departure of Sam Allardyce, who failed to preserve their top-flight status, following four games in charge.

Leeds have just been bought by 49ers Enterprises after a decision was made by Andrea Radrizzani to sell his remaining stake in the Yorkshire-based club.

Meslier was linked with Chelsea during the January transfer window, with the Blues searching for a new number one as they look for a long-term replacement for both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy.

It’s a complicated time for Meslier, who is contracted for another two seasons at Leeds, but his admission left the door open to a move to Stamford Bridge if Chelsea were interested.

On his future, he added: “It is complicated when you’re in such a situation. We no longer have a coach, our club is being purchased by the 49ers group – there are lots of unknowns.

“For now, I have a contract until 2026. Officially, I still belong to Leeds. I will have to think about what could be the best project, be that at Leeds or another club.

Asked specifically about the Chelsea links, Meslier continued: “If it is to go and be on the bench, I’m not interested in that. If it’s to be the number one, of course, you can’t say ‘I’m not interested in Chelsea’.

“I’d prefer to go to a less reputable club where I’ll have more game time than a top European club where I’d sit on the bench.”

Chelsea’s primary targets are Inter Milan’s Andre Onana and AC Milan’s Mike Maignan. It remains unclear how much Mauricio Pochettino’s side are willing to spend this summer to sign a new goalkeeper.