Liverpool face clear Leny Yoro transfer decision after Manchester United bid

Leny Yoro is wanted by Liverpool
-Credit: (Image: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Liverpool seemingly face competition from one of their fiercest rivals in the race to sign Leny Yoro.

The Reds have shown an interest in signing the Lille centre-back this summer, as Arne Slot prepares for his first season as head coach. Liverpool have Richard Hughes as their new sporting director, who will be leading their pursuit of new signings during the summer transfer window.

No new additions have been made to the Liverpool squad in the early weeks of the transfer window. Yoro has emerged as a potential target for the Reds, but there has been an acceptance from Liverpool's perspective that Real Madrid seemed the centre-back's most likely destination.

However, a Manchester Evening News have reported that Lille have accepted an offer from Manchester United for Yoro. It has been stated that the offer is between €60 million (£50 million) and €70 million (£60 million).

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With the latest development, ECHO writers take a look at whether or not Liverpool should step in and make an offer to sign Yoro and beat Man United to his signature.

Mark Wakefield

Liverpool's interest in Leny Yoro first emerged last month, and there has been no word since of a bid being made. Presumably, the main reason for this was an acceptance that the defender looked set to join Real Madrid.

However, an accepted bid from Manchester United should change things. If there's a chance that a team other than Madrid has a chance to sign Yoro, and Liverpool are still interested, then the Reds should at the very least be in the conversation.

What could be an issue is the price tag. If the reports are to be believed and Man United have bid between £50 million and £60 million, it would not be unreasonable to assume that is a fee Liverpool are unwilling to pay.

It all comes down to how much Liverpool may or may not want to sign Yoro. If he is a priority target then the club should do all they can to bring him to Anfield, if not then assessing other options may be the most likely course of action.

Theo Squires

With Virgil van Dijk just turned 33, out of contract next summer, and critics in his homeland insisting his talents are on the wane, there is no escaping the fact that Liverpool will need a long-term replacement for their captain sooner rather than later. Yet, tales of his demise are greatly exaggerated, with his club form over the past season more than enough to demonstrate he should not be put out to pasture just yet.

Consequently, even after waving off Joel Matip at the end of his contract, the club still possess four quality centre-back options. Historically, such a total is more than enough for a first team squad, though Liverpool have understandably been stung by injuries in the past. In truth, they perhaps already possess Van Dijk’s heir in Jarell Quansah following an astonishing breakthrough season.

It was no surprise to see Newcastle United swiftly dismissed when they asked for the centre-back as part of any deal for Anthony Gordon. If not for Ibrahima Konate’s chequered injury past, you could feel comfortable with the Reds current options with Joe Gomez completing the quota. Yet they always remain one injury away from a crisis.

Reinforcements are needed as a result, with Liverpool’s opportunistic approach to Leny Yoro’s availability particularly shrewd as a result. However, a potential €70m fee seems excessive for a player with a year left on his contract, who is still a teenager, and would not be first-choice at Anfield just yet. If the Reds miss out on Yoro, they deem a new centre-back not an immediate priority, with other positions in greater need of reinforcement.

Consequently, that €70m could perhaps be better spent on other areas of Arne Slot’s inherited squad. Manchester United’s accepted offer for the Frenchman could trigger a resolution to this transfer saga, but the expectation within Anfield is still for Yoro to get his preferred move to Real Madrid. If their gut feeling is right, the Red Devils will be left disappointed.

Of course, if given encouragement they could lure the defender to Liverpool, the Reds would be poised to pounce. But this isn’t a bidding war, with the player’s preference at this point well-known. Offering more than United would change nothing at this moment in time. Besides, Liverpool are smarter than entering such a scatter-gun transfer field. Like Real Madrid, they are biding their time, though anticipating disappointment, rather than aimlessly throwing money at Lille and naively hoping for the best.

Tom Coley

There is something in the water in France. There must be. The level of young talent they develop is incredible, and Yoro is near top of the lot.

He is right in the mix with Endrick, Lamine Yamal, Joao Neves, and all the other names we know as teenage prodigies. His record as an 18-year-old speaks for itself, his height says plenty more.

Yoro is the sort of player to be signed first, and then the rest sorts itself out, he's that good. Yoros don't come around that often.

So yes, Liverpool should be in this battle and they should be ready to go toe-to-toe with Manchester United in order to get him. If it takes £70million then it takes £70million. Put that aside, worry about it later.

The thing with this is that just getting Lille's approval and acceptance is not going to be enough. Real Madrid are the favourites here and who can blame Yoro for being taken in. Raphael Varane and Eder Militao have gone there early and grown into top defenders. Yoro is more than capable of doing the same.

It should be Liverpool's duty to make sure that Los Blancos are kept honest in their pursuit. If nothing else, don't give United a free run.

Isaac Johnson

I’d argue Liverpool already have their own Leny Yoro in Jarell Quansah - but I can understand the interest in Yoro given his levels at such a young age, and the prospect of him and Quansah forming a long-lasting partnership is appetising.

The question really is whether he is worth the £59m United are willing to pay for him. It would be a gamble, but an educated one. If Liverpool really believe he is the next Virgil van Dijk then they may as well spend on him while he is affordable.

Van Dijk turned 33 on Monday and has 12 months left on his contract, and you can bet Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes will be trying to future-proof Arne Slot’s side beyond next year. If he’s worth his salt, Liverpool - who can offer so much more than United - ought to not dawdle over Yoro.

Richard Garnett

The news that Manchester United have had a bid for Leny Yoro accepted may set alarm bells ringing for some supporters, especially as Real Madrid is supposed to be the young French defender's preferred destination, but I wouldn't be too worried about missing out.

The same Manchester United also want to buy Matthijs de Ligt from Bayern Munich, even though the Dutchman has failed to live up to the standards he set for himself at Ajax five years ago.

Liverpool could well have had a vacancy in central defence had they chosen to accept Newcastle's offer to take Jarell Quansah plus cash in exchange for Anthony Gordon. But the Reds are not in the habit of letting their best young players leave, so any move for Yoro feels largely counter-productive in that respect.

Arne Slot still needs to assess his whole squad comprehensively and if reports suggesting that he has already been impressed with serial loan player Sepp van den Berg are true, the new Liverpool manager may decide that he might not need to buy any central defenders at all. Either way, Slot can spend £50m-odd more wisely on midfield recruitments and assess his defensive options later into next month. It's a no from me.

Jack Flintham

If it is not going to be Riccardo Calafiori or Leny Yoro, then who will Liverpool target to strengthen their central defence? Arguably Yoro makes even more sense to splash the cash on than Calafiori.

General agreement is that £50m is an absolute steel for a player of Yoro's current ability and potential. He has earned comparisons to Raphael Varane and his performances for Lille have shown just why that is.

He is a commanding presence in any defence and who better to learn from than Virgil van Dijk when it comes to leadership. It is becoming increasingly obvious that Real Madrid won't be able to complete a deal this summer due to their heavy spending on Kylian Mbappe.

This is Liverpool's chance to bag their man and let's face it Anfield is a more inviting proposition than Old Trafford currently.

Matthew Abbott

Yoro is the latest teenager subject to the cross-Europe transfer tug-of-war that seemingly happens every summer. Last year, Jude Bellingham was at the centre of it, and we all know how that turned out.

Real Madrid usually win the race and, unsurprisingly, are said to be leading the way again this time. Yoro is dubbed the next Raphael Varane, so it is no surprise that the World Cup winner's two former teams are trying to sign the Lille starlet.

Like in 2011, Madrid will likely get their way, with Yoro said to prefer playing in the Spanish capital and talks now seemingly progressing with Lille. But with United formalising their interest and Paris Saint-Germain also interested, the Reds should follow suit to show they are serious about signing some of the sport's standout talents.

They did that last year with Bellingham before later ending their pursuit, and a similar scenario could ultimately play out once more 12 months on. However, being in the race is no bad thing, and it's not like the club does not need another central defender after seeing Joel Matip leave at the start of this month.