Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa blocked one key transfer at Elland Road

Leeds United chiefs were willing to let goalkeeper Kiko Casilla leave the club last summer, after a disappointing end to the campaign. But, Marcelo Bielsa was adamant that Casilla won’t be leaving Elland Road.

Casilla was signed by Bielsa in January 2019, as an upgrade on then-goalkeeper, Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Leeds brought in Casilla from Real Madrid on a free transfer.

He took over first-team duties for the second-half of the season.

But, his season was marred by a high-profile mistake in the play-off semi-final against Derby County last season.

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The board were willing to listen to offers for the Spaniard after his season-defining blunder.

But, the manager was insistent that Casilla was key to his project at Elland Road, according to The Athletic.

His future at Leeds now depends on the emergence of 19-year-old back-up goalkeeper, Illan Meslier.

Meslier was signed on loan from Lorient during the summer, and has only made one appearance for the club, in an FA Cup defeat to Arsenal.

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But, Leeds are still expected to make his loan switch a permanent move, with Bielsa impressed with the youngster’s ability.

If Meslier proves himself to be a capable member of the first-team, Leeds will be looking to sell Casilla at the end of the season.

The Whites are expecting Meslier to be given his chance over the coming weeks, with Casilla likely to be suspended for alleged racist comments to Charlton striker Jonathan Leko.

The incident occurred back in September, but the EFL have been pondering a punishment for Casilla, since he was charged back in November.


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Casilla is one of the club’s highest earners, and Leeds will be hopeful of removing the Spaniard from their wage list.

He earns around £32,000-a-week, which is slightly less than summer signing Helder Costa, and striker Patrick Bamford.

Freeing up Casilla’s salary would allow the board to reinvest in the squad elsewhere.

Fans have been desperate to sign a new striker, with Bamford failing to impress in recent weeks.


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Casilla has also come under criticism for his performances since the turn of the calendar year.

He made a dreadful mistake against Brentford earlier this month.

The error came shortly after another mistake against Nottingham Forest.

But, Bielsa has stuck by the goalkeeper this season, insisting that he’ll continue to be the club’s No 1.

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