Livescore Friday, April 12

Real Madrid are among several top European clubs actively pursuing Lille centre-back Leny Yoro this summer.

Sources briefed on the matter told The Athletic that the 18-year-old intends to decide his future this month. Several of those interested clubs have had talks over potential salary and explained how they see him fitting into their plans.

Those sources add that Yoro has not made a final decision — but Madrid are among the best-positioned candidates.

Madrid themselves have urged caution over a potential move for Yoro but the club have shown concrete interest in him, holding multiple conversations with his agent, Jorge Mendes, and receiving positive indications about the the Frenchman’s intentions. There is confidence in the work that has been done for months and that, as in the cases of other young players such as Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, Jude Bellingham, Arda Guler or Endrick, this will tip the balance in their favour.

Lille have repeatedly tried to renew Yoro’s contract, which expires in June 2025. However, the young prospect, who is considered among the best talents in French football, has declined that option because he prefers to take up a new challenge this summer.

This means the clubs that want Yoro are expecting a considerable reduction in the starting price that Lille have previously communicated for him, which was over €100million (£85.6m; $108m).

Madrid’s plan was to strengthen the centre of defence in 2025 but anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries to Eder Militao and David Alaba this season have made it advisable to revise that roadmap. These injuries, as well as whether Nacho decides to renew his expiring contract or not, have helped accelerate the potential deal for Yoro.

As was the case with Guler in 2023, Yoro is not contemplating staying at his current club for another year as part of the deal. With Yoro considered a generational talent, Madrid are therefore willing to act now to bring him to the Bernabeu, if financially possible.

(Sebastien Salom-Gomis/AFP via Getty Images)

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