Liverpool reach out to in-demand defender despite Real Madrid agreement

It's not a foregone conclusion just yet. In fact, Liverpool's pursuit of Lille centre-back Leny Yoro has taken a fresh twist, despite Real Madrid seeming to have the deal all wrapped up.

As reported by Anfield Watch, the Reds remain on standby should the 18-year-old French centre-back's deal with the European champions fall through.

Now, however, Football Insider is reporting that Liverpool are still actively in contact with the player's representatives, despite the Lille defender already informing Real Madrid of his desire to join them - and agreeing personal terms.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano went even further. Speaking on Playback, the Italian said that three clubs had made direct contact "in the last 24 to 48 hours".

“So, Leny Yoro wants to go to Real Madrid, Leny Yoro is giving priority to Real Madrid, Leny Yoro wants Real Madrid since October-November, it’s not something new. But, it depends on Real Madrid," he said.

“If Real Madrid wants to close the deal, Yoro will be their player because he wants to go there, no doubt. But in case they don’t complete the deal, PSG, Liverpool and also Man United, in the last 24-48 hours, called for Leny Yoro and confirmed their genuine interest.”

YORO IS 'A UNIQUE MARKET OPPORTUNITY'

The Reds know that signing Yoro will be a tough ask. However, with Lille and Real Madrid yet to agree on a transfer fee, the door remains open - and Liverpool sense an opportunity.

The Ligue 1 side are holding out for around €60 million for their prized asset, who scored three goals in 44 appearances last season.

According to James Pearce from The Athletic, Liverpool regard Yoro as a "unique market opportunity [...] given his age, talent, potential and contract situation [with only one year left]."

This is why "they want to be at the front of the queue if the switch to Real falls through.”

Lille’s Leny Yoro, a Liverpool transfer target

LILLE - Leny Yoro of Lille OSC during the French Ligue 1 match between Lille OSC and Paris Saint-Germain at Pierre-Mauroy Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Lille, France. ANP Hollandse Hoogte Gerrit van Keulen Ligue 1 Uber Eats 2023/2024 xVIxANPxSportx/xGerritxvanxKeulenxIVx 487127042 originalFilename: 487127042.jpg

Arne Slot wants to sign a centre-back

The summer transfer window is crucial for Liverpool, with several new players expected to join the squad, particularly in defence.

Liverpool’s defensive issues last season highlighted the need for reinforcements, especially after Joel Matip’s season-ending injury suffered in December.

The timely emergence of young defender Jarell Quansah, resulting in a call-up to Gareth Southgate's preliminary England squad for Euro 2024, alleviated some of this urgency. Nevertheless, Liverpool will remain vigilant in the market for potential centre-back signings.

“Another centre-back would certainly be useful given Matip’s departure and Ibrahima Konate’s issues with fitness and form, but the challenge is finding the right player at a suitable price,” Pearce wrote.

In addition to Yoro, Bologna's Riccardo Calafiori has also been linked. However, it would appear that the Italian favours a move to Juventus.

While Arne Slot’s squad is in a strong position, adding depth to the back-line could further solidify their ambitions for the upcoming season.

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