Man Utd can sign their own William Saliba as exciting transfer green-lit by club chief

Man Utd can sign their own William Saliba. (Image: GETTY)

Lille president Olivier Letang has confirmed that Manchester United target Leny Yoro can leave the club this summer due to a clause in his contract. The highly-rated centre-back has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford, although Real Madrid are thought to be the frontrunners for his signature.

United have reportedly prioritised strengthening in central defence ahead of Raphael Varane’s contract expiry at the end of the month.

Varane will leave the club after three years, while Jonny Evans is due to join him as a free agent if he doesn’t agree a new deal.

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof also face uncertain futures, with United expected to welcome offers for both as they enter the final year of their contracts.

Erik ten Hag is said to want at least one new centre-back to act as Varane’s long-term successor. But he is also keen on a left-sided option to supply Lisandro Martinez with competition.

Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite has been heavily touted as United’s first-choice option when it comes to the latter.

However, Yoro is reportedly among the club’s top targets for a right-sided centre-back alongside Jean-Clair Todibo and Marc Guehi.

The 18-year-old emerged as one of Europe’s brightest young defenders last season, making 44 appearances for Lille after debuting in May 2022.

Man Utd are linked with Leny Yoro. (Image: Getty)

Real were widely expected to swoop for his signature to upgrade Carlo Ancelotti’s back line in the present and for the future.

But recent reports suggest a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu has so far failed to materialise, returning Yoro to the table.

And United’s chances of an exciting deal have been further boosted by comments from Lille president Olivier Letang confirming that Yoro was in the shop window this summer.

“Leny Yoro and Jonathan David can leave the club this summer. Both have the ‘exit voucher’ due to their contract situation,” Letang confirmed.

United sealing a deal for the teenager would spark parallels to Arsenal’s £27million deal for William Saliba when he was the same age in 2019.

The Frenchman’s Arsenal career started with three loans – a return to Saint-Etienne followed by stints at Nice and Marseille – before Mikel Arteta gave him a chance in 2022.

Now 23, Saliba has been formidable for the Gunners over the last two seasons and is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s top centre-halves.

United may look at Yoro and hope to repeat Arsenal’s success by launching a pursuit once the summer transfer window opens tomorrow.