Man Utd and Liverpool set for blow as 'new William Saliba' transfer bid accepted

Leny Yoro of Lille looks set for a summer transfer to PSG despite Premier League interest (Image: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Manchester United and Liverpool are set to miss out on signing French prodigy Leny Yoro. The 18 year old has been the target of a £43million (€50m) transfer bid from Paris Saint-Germain, which his current club Lille have accepted, although Real Madrid are reported to still remain in the running.

Lille are under pressure to sell the talented centre-back as he enters the final year of his contract, having narrowly missed out on automatic Champions League qualification.

Yoro’s reputation has grown steadily over the season, making 44 appearances across all competitions, with Lille reaching the quarter-finals of the Conference League before losing on penalties to Aston Villa. French outlet Sports Zone reports that PSG have made the first move, but the teenager would still prefer a move to Madrid.

Real have already won Yoro over with their project, but Lille’s need for quick cash could force him to Paris. United and Liverpool had previously shown interest in the France under-21 international, who made his first-team debut for Lille at just 16.

Often compared to ‘the new William Saliba’, Yoro is also eligible to represent the Ivory Coast at international level. His performances over the past two years have seen him become one of Europe’s most sought-after young defenders, with Lille boss Paulo Fonseca full of praise for him.

Fonseca praised the 18-year-old’s maturity and technical skills, stating: “It’s not normal to have an 18 year old player like Leny with this maturity and the technical qualities he has. For me, he will be one of the best central defenders in France and probably in Europe. He is very balanced, and there is no doubt that he will be a very great player.”

Both Manchester United and Liverpool are reportedly on the hunt for new centre-backs in the upcoming summer transfer window, following confirmed departures from their respective squads.

Raphael Varane of United and Joel Matip of Liverpool, who suffered an ACL rupture, are both set to leave their clubs at the end of their contracts next month.

The youngster has been likened to Arsenal’s breakthrough star William Saliba (Image: Hugo Pfeiffer/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

United are also said to be interested in Everton’s young talent Jarrad Branthwaite, who is valued at around £80m by his club. The 21 year old England international is also on the radar of Tottenham and Manchester City.

Jean-Clair Todibo of Nice is another potential target for United, a move that could be facilitated by the existing links between the two clubs through INEOS. Meanwhile, Liverpool have been linked with Eintracht Frankfurt’s promising player Willian Pacho.

Pacho, a 22 year old Ecuador international, had a standout first season in the Bundesliga, which means Liverpool may need to fork out between €50m and €60m (£43m and £52m) to secure his services.