Man Utd, Liverpool ‘actively pursue’ defender as Ratcliffe ‘accepts’ inevitable Real Madrid transfer

Jason Soutar
Liverpool Man Utd transfer
Liverpool and Manchester United are linked with Leny Yoro.

Real Madrid-linked Lille centre-back Leny Yoro is being ‘actively pursued’ by Manchester United and Liverpool, according to David Ornstein.

Yoro broke into the Lille first team in 2022/23, making 13 appearances in Ligue 1 before becoming a mainstay in 23/24.

He only missed two league matches last season and started six times as the French side reached the quarter-final of the Europa Conference League.

The 18-year-old is one of the most promising players in the world and is being monitored by the biggest clubs in Europe including Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Speaking this week, Lille president Olivier Letang admitted that Yoro and striker Jonathan David – who is reportedly on Manchester United’s striker shortlist – can leave the club this summer.

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Letang is eager to receive a fee for both players as their contracts expire at the end of next season.

If Yoro was under longer terms, it would not have been surprising to see Lille demand north of £100m but the current situation means he will be available for significantly less as Letang will be extremely reluctant to lose such a promising player for nothing.

This stance has given Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the green light to pursue a deal for the teenager and that is exactly what he is doing.

Liverpool, Man Utd ‘not discouraged’ as target eyes Real Madrid transfer

According to The Athletic correspondent David Ornstein, Ratcliffe is not alone in wanting Yoro, with Liverpool also ‘actively pursuing’ the signing.

However, Ornstein claims there is an ‘acceptance’ that European champions Real Madrid will win the race for Yoro’s signature, while PSG are also ‘strongly interested’.

A contract extension appears to be off the table as it is stated the young defender ‘is set to leave this summer or as a free agent in 12 months’ time’.

Tellingly, Yoro was at Wembley to watch Los Blancos beat Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final and ‘most suitors believe’ he will move to the Bernabeu.

While clubs expect the Frenchman to join Madrid, ‘this has not discouraged Liverpool and Man Utd’ who will ‘push hard’ to strike an agreement with Lille.

Liverpool, United and PSG are also boosted by the fact they have ‘made more concrete advances’ than the Spanish giants.

Ornstein hints that the Premier League duo would not have been competing for Yoro’s signature if he wasn’t available for a respectable price, as both view the signing ‘as a unique market opportunity rather than a fundamental part of their recruitment plans’.

Signing a new centre-back appears to be a priority for the Reds and Red Devils, with Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite being strongly linked with the latter.

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