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Manchester United, Liverpool 'suffer blow in pursuit of teenage defender'

Man United, Liverpool 'suffer blow in pursuit of teenage defender'
© Reuters
Paris Saint-Germain reportedly reach a verbal agreement to sign Lille defender Leny Yoro, also linked with Manchester United and Liverpool.

Manchester United and Liverpool have apparently suffered a fresh blow in their efforts to capture one of Ligue 1's highest-rated centre-backs.

Lille starlet Leny Yoro is already a weekly starter for Les Dogues at the age of just 18, making 44 appearances in all competitions in the 2023-24 campaign and coming up with three goals.

The 2005-born has now played 60 times for Paulo Fonseca's side since coming through their youth academy, although his efforts were not enough to force a path to France's Euro 2024 squad.

However, Yoro is looking like a surefire bet for France's 2024 Olympic squad, and his rise to prominence in his homeland has unsurprisingly attracted glances from across Europe.

The 18-year-old is not expected to renew his contract with Lille, which has a little over 12 months left to run, meaning that the French side will likely be pressured into a sale in the summer window.

Lille defender Leny Yoro in action with Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe in February 2023© Reuters

Paris Saint-Germain 'agree fee for Yoro'

Manchester United and Liverpool are believed to spearhead the English interest in Yoro, as both Premier League giants are working to bolster their defensive ranks this summer.

However, according to Sports Zone, Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain have reached an agreement in principle to sign Yoro, who will cost them a total of €50m (£42.7m).

Lille president Olivier Letang was apparently not involved in talks with Luis Enrique's side, as the Lille hierarchy accepted the bid straight away given their need to raise funds.

There is still one significant hurdle for PSG to clear, though, as the teenager is apparently prioritising a move to Real Madrid, who have been "very convincing" in their efforts to sign the Frenchman.

What other centre-backs can Man United, Liverpool pursue?

As PSG and Real Madrid engage in a two-horse race for Yoro's services, Manchester United and Liverpool may instead choose to look a bit closer to home for players to strengthen their rearguard ranks.

Both clubs are believed to have taken an interest in Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo and Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi, although Newcastle United appear to be on the verge of signing the former on a free transfer.

Instead, Man United are thought to be pushing hard to capture Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite and are prepared to pay up to £55m for the Englishman, but the Toffees are holding out for an £80m figure.

Across Europe, both clubs are said to have made contact over a possible move for 20-year-old Benfica man Antonio Silva, while Arne Slot's arrival at Liverpool from Feyenoord offers hope that the Dutchman could bring either David Hancko or Lutsharel Geertruida with him.

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Lille defender Leny Yoro in action with Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe in February 2023
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