Man Utd & Liverpool 'actively pursuing' Real Madrid target

  • Man Utd, Liverpool & PSG keen on teenage centre-back Leny Yoro
  • Lille have effectively confirmed the youngster can leave this summer
  • Real Madrid widely believed to be his favoured destination
Leny Yoro has massive clubs on his tail
Leny Yoro has massive clubs on his tail / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Manchester United and Liverpool are refusing to throw in the towel when it comes to Lille centre-back Leny Yoro, even with the 18-year-old generally expected to end up with Real Madrid.

United have danced this dance before, missing out on a teenage defender by the name of Raphael Varane – ironically born in Lille, as it happens – to Madrid in 2011. A decade later, the Frenchman wound up at Old Trafford anyway, but his United spell is now at a close after three injury-hit seasons.

Yoro has emerged as one of the Europe's brightest talents after making his Lille debut at 16 and becoming a regular for the Ligue 1 side over the last 12 months. But his contract only has one year left to run and he isn't expected to sign a new one.

Lille have effectively confirmed they would rather cash in now than risk losing the player – and striker Jonathan David, who is in the same boat – as a free agent next year.

"Leny Yoro and Jonathan David can leave the club this summer. Both have the 'exit voucher' due to their contract situation," club president Olivier Letang said on Wednesday.

Leny Yoro
Yoro is valued at €100m by Lille / Catherine Steenkeste/GettyImages

The Athletic now writes that United and Liverpool are "actively pursuing" a deal for Yoro given how the opportunity has arisen. Neither has been put off at this stage by a what is described as an "acceptance" that the player is ultimately bound for Madrid. Both clubs are said to have made more concrete approaches so far, alongside Paris Saint-Germain, even if Madrid enter the process later.

Madrid's scouting reports on Yoro have labelled the Frenchman a "generational talent", while they are believed to have received positive indications from his camp that he wants to play for them. The stumbling could be a €100m (£84m) price tag, which is considered too high in the Spanish capital.

That is perhaps why Madrid were recently tipped by the Spanish press to wait for Yoro to run down his contract and join the club as a free agent in 2025, which they achieved with Kylian Mbappe.

Any move to the Bernabeu sooner than 2025 would likely rest on Yoro rebuffing better offers from the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and PSG and urging Lille to negotiate with Madrid.