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Man United signing Leny Yoro ahead of Real Madrid would send out major statement

Generational talent: Will Man United win the race for Yoro?
© Reuters
Sports Mole discusses the situation of Lille centre-back Leny Yoro, who is being heavily linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Leny Yoro's future is currently the subject of much speculation, with the 18-year-old widely expected to leave Lille this summer, as his contract has less than 12 months left to run.

A major development on the centre-back's future occurred on Tuesday, with Manchester United said to have reached an agreement with Lille over a summer transfer.

The Red Devils have allegedly agreed to pay €50m (£42.3m) for the teenager, which would represent a solid deal for Lille considering his contract situation, but it would be a cut-price fee for Man United considering that the defender is viewed as a potential great of the game in the future.

It is far from a straightforward deal, though, due to the presence of a certain Real Madrid.

According to various reports in Spain, Yoro has made it clear that he wants to make the move to the Spanish and European champions, but the capital outfit have thus far been unable to submit an offer which matches Lille's valuation.

Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe in action with Lille's Leny Yoro on December 17, 2023© Reuters

Real Madrid remain firmly in the hunt for Yoro

There have been suggestions that Yoro could decide to see out the final year of his contract and then make the move to Real Madrid on a free transfer next summer.

In that scenario, Lille would have the outstanding defender for another season, but they would then lose him for nothing, which is not ideal for the French side for obvious reasons.

Man United are closing in on a deal for Bayern Munich's Matthijs de Ligt, while they are also pursuing Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite.

A move for Bologna's Joshua Zirkzee is also set to be completed in the near future, while Manuel Ugarte from Paris Saint-Germain is a top midfield target.

Man United's new football department are finally operating at the level that has been absent in recent years, and with the likes of Dan Ashworth and Jason Wilcox heavily involved in the deals, Man United suddenly look like a serious outfit once again, at least off the field.

Yoro would be a statement signing for Man United

On Tuesday, Yoro took to social media to hit back at a fake account which claimed that the centre-back was not interested in joining the Red Devils this summer.

Yoro, who is 6ft 3in, came through the youth system at Lille and represented the French outfit's second team before making his senior debut in 2022.

Since then, the France Under-21s international has made 60 appearances for Les Dogues, including 44 outings during an excellent 2023-24 campaign.

The defender is regarded as one of the outstanding talents in world football, and it is difficult to see a club of Real Madrid's calibre letting such an opportunity pass them by.

In previous summers, confidence around a move to Man United would not be high, but the new structure put in place by minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe is already having a huge impact.

Manchester United's Harry Maguire on April 21, 2024© Reuters

There will be centre-back movement this summer

Lisandro Martinez will be bidding to put his injury problems behind him next season, and he has had an outstanding Copa America for Argentina this summer.

If Martinez is fit, he is an absolute certainty in the middle of the Man United defence, while the club remain in discussions with Jonny Evans over a new contract.

The arrivals of both De Ligt and Yoro would throw the futures of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof into doubt, and it is certainly possible that both could leave this summer for the right price.

It is clear that Man United want to improve their defensive unit, and having Martinez, De Ligt and Yoro as three of their options next season would leave every club in world football envious.

The Red Devils will not wait for Yoro, though, as the Branthwaite deal is still a possibility, and the signs are currently extremely bright for the 20-time English champions, as they look to become an outfit capable of being a dominant force once again.

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