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

Real Madrid see rivals “more advanced” in Leny Yoro talks – Liverpool are interested

With Liverpool among the clubs pursuing a deal for Lille centre-back Leny Yoro, an interesting update on the situation claims a move is already “advanced.”

Yoro has emerged as the first concrete target for the Reds under their new regime, with Michael Edwards and Julian Ward in at FSG and Richard Hughes appointed sporting director.

That appears to have led to the 18-year-old being identified as a potential signing, having broken through as a key player for Lille despite his age.

READ: Leny Yoro and 9 other centre-backs Liverpool could sign this summer

It was widely reported last week that Liverpool had joined Man United and Paris Saint-Germain in their pursuit of Yoro, though it was maintained that Real Madrid took priority.

However, The Athletic‘s Guillermo Rai and Mario Cortegana have since reported that there has already been “direct contact” with Lille, with Real’s transfer rivals “more advanced” in negotiations.

That information comes from “sources close to the player,” indicating that Liverpool may have approached Lille over a deal that could be worth £50 million.

It is reiterated that Yoro’s “preference is Madrid” which “could end up being key,” as was the case with Jude Bellingham and Aurelien Tchouameni.

But the teenager is “not the only defensive recruit Madrid are considering” as they weigh up replacements for captain Nacho Fernandez, who could depart on the expiry of his contract.

The landscape has not changed much when it comes to Liverpool, who like Man United and PSG are – as explained by the Times‘ Paul Joyce – “waiting in the wings” for if a proposed switch to Madrid falls through.

While it is not the ideal situation to find themselves in, it has been stressed that interest in Yoro is not a “fundamental part of [Liverpool’s] recruitment plans.”

Other centre-backs wanted

2XCA333 Dortmund, Germany. 15th June 2024. DORTMUND, GERMANY - JUNE 15: Riccardo Calafiori of Italy looks up during the Group B - UEFA EURO 2024 match between Italy and Albania at Signal Iduna Park on June 15, 2024 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Joris Verwijst/BSR Agency) Credit: BSR Agency/Alamy Live News Credit: BSR Agency/Alamy Live News

Instead, it is viewed as an opportunity too good to pass up, with Yoro’s breakthrough at Lille highlighting him as a generational talent.

All signs point to Hughes having already done the legwork when it comes to contacting the player’s club and likely his representatives too.

Now it could be a waiting game for Liverpool and their new recruitment staff, with other centre-backs including Crystal Palace‘s Marc Guehi and Bologna’s Riccardo Calafiori reportedly on the radar.

Arne Slot heads into his first campaign as head coach having seen Joel Matip released, leaving Virgil van Dijk, Jarell Quansah, Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez as senior centre-back options.