2X5BNX5 LILLE - Leny Yoro of Lille OSC during the French Ligue 1 match between Lille OSC and Olympique Lyonnais at Pierre-Mauroy Stadium on May 6, 2023 in Lille, France. ANP | Hollandse Hoogte | Gerrit van Keulen

Liverpool “actively pursuing” French centre-back Leny Yoro – leading source reports

Liverpool are “actively pursuing” Lille centre-back Leny Yoro, but face tough competition to sign the French defender.

For Liverpool, it is has been a quiet summer so far in the transfer market with so much change happening behind the scenes.

Finally, though, we have a concrete link and it comes in defence, an area we know Liverpool are looking to strengthen.

Lille’s Yoro is the man being ‘pursued’ by top European clubs, including the Reds.

David Ornstein reported for the Athletic that Liverpool are “actively pursuing a deal to sign” the Frenchman.

The Reds have been “pushing hard to entice Yoro” and, alongside Man United and PSG, have made “the more concrete advances so far.”

Ornstein added they “would all be prepared to offer competitive or favourable conditions,” but a “belief held by most of his suitors is that the France youth international will move to the Bernabeu, even if a deal does not materialise immediately.”

With Real Madrid the most likely destination for Yoro, Liverpool will have to act swiftly if they are serious about securing his services.

Lille’s president has already confirmed Yoro will be allowed to leave this summer, with his contract expiring in 2025.

The race for his signature could be slightly eased if Man United were to pull out. Surely higher wages would be the only incentive to move to Old Trafford anyway, though?

The Times reported that the Red Devils have already agreed terms with another defender, Jarrad Branthwaite, though he could cost £70 million from Everton.

Who is Leny Yoro?

At 18 years old, Yoro is one of the most coveted young defenders in Europe but would be unlikely to slot straight into Liverpool’s defence.

In comparison to other centre-backs, the Lille defender ranks highly for passes completed meaning he doesn’t give the ball away often.

However, this is likely down to the nature of his passing. Over the last year, he has made just 2.29 progressive passes per 90 minutes, placing him in the bottom 16 percent for that statistic among his peers.

He could still be an effective defender next to a commanding centre-half, such as Virgil van Dijk, but has plenty of room to develop his game yet.

His performances for Lille have warranted a call-up to the French Olympics squad, which will be managed by Thierry Henry this summer.

It is a competition that takes on more significance this year, given the Olympics are taking place in Paris. There, he could line up alongside Crystal Palace‘s Jean-Philippe Mateta and Michael Olise.