Manchester United sent scouts to watch Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier on Tuesday, watching on as he conceded seven against Manchester City.
Still just 21 years old, Meslier has two years of Premier League experience to his name and is widely seen as a potential superstar.
According to the Daily Mail, United see him as exactly that, going as far as to label him ‘the best young goalkeeper in the country’, and scouts made the short trip to the Etihad Stadium to watch Meslier in action.
As far as auditions go, it went pretty badly.
With goalkeeper scout Tony Coton watching on, Meslier shipped no fewer than seven goals against Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders. While he did make a handful of decent saves, it’s hard to cover yourself in glory when you’re on the wrong end of that kind of drubbing.
Whether United were scared off by that showing is unclear. The Red Devils have no urgent need to pick up a new goalkeeper, although they are keen to prepare for the future following David de Gea’s 31st birthday.
They do still have Dean Henderson in their ranks. The 24-year-old had long been seen as the natural heir to De Gea’s throne, but after two years playing second fiddle to the Spaniard, Henderson wants out of Old Trafford and 90min understands he is angling for a permanent departure.
If Henderson does get his wish, United would need to identify a new successor to De Gea and the belief is that Meslier is on their shortlist.
Meslier inked a five-year contract with Leeds back in August and would not leave the club to take a backup role elsewhere. He rejected Chelsea earlier in his career for exactly that reason and is enjoying his spell as Leeds’ starter.
When United do eventually find themselves needing to replace De Gea, they will undoubtedly take a look at countless goalkeepers from across the globe, but it seems as though they’re trying to get a head-start with Meslier.