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Romano says Man United ‘like’ £50m wonderkid but talks are not advanced yet

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What Real Madrid want, they very often get.

Manchester United know that only too well. While the Red Devils succeeded in keeping Cristiano Ronaldo out of Los Blancos’ clutches during the summer of 2008, there was a sense of inevitability when the Portuguese prince finally secured his world-record dream move to the Santiago Bernabeu 12 months later.

Despite a pretty dreadful decade, Man United retain a pulling power most clubs can only dream of. But if there is one side in European football with more allure in the market, it’s the one United are going head-to-head for to secure the services of Leny Yoro.

According to The Athletic, Man United see the possibility of bringing Yoro to Old Trafford as a ‘unique opportunity’. Erik ten Hag’s side feel that the 18-year-old – his Lille contract expiring next summer – is a potentially ‘generational talent’.

Unfortunately, Real Madrid think so too.

And while Man United cannot be ruled out of the race for the £50 million-rated Yoro at this stage, their pursuit appears to be more in hope than expectation.

  • READ MORE: Manchester United confirmed signings, transfers in, out, loan exits, releases for 2024/25

Manchester United could miss out on Leny Yoro

“The player is waiting for Real Madrid,” Fabrizio Romano explains. “But other clubs are keeping a close eye on the situation.

“Many rumours (about) Manchester United. They appreciate, they like Leny Yoro, but at the moment, between Leny Yoro and United, there is still not something advanced on player side.

“The interest is true, so let’s see if Man United decide to go big on that one.”

Alongside Yoro, Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite is Manchester United’s leading target to reinforce Ten Hag’s backline. The FA Cup winners failed with an allegedly ‘lowball’ opening bid for the England international on Friday last week, Everton holding out for around £70 million.

Unfortunately, United are not quite negotiating from a position of strength, even if The Toffees’ financial issues are well documented. Jean-Clair Todibo, the Red Devils’ back up option, is no longer on the table. UEFA have blocked a move that would see the Nice ace leave one Ineos-controled club for another.

Furthermore, with the expectation being that Yoro ends up at Real Madrid, Everton may be emboldened to stick with their price-tag in the knowledge that Branthwaite is not only Man United’s leading defensive target but one of their few remaining defensive targets.

Yoro and Jonathan David can both leave Lille

Yoro, a 6ft 4ins colossus, has been labelled an ‘exemplary’ footballer by France legend Thierry Henry. Comparisons have also been drawn with Raphael Varane, the veteran centre-half who represented both Real Madrid and Man United. It was confirmed a few weeks ago that Varane will leave Old Trafford when his contract expires in July alongside Anthony Martial and Brandon Williams.

Lille president Olivier Letang, meanwhile, has confirmed that Yoro is free to leave. As is Jonathan David, the United-linked striker who is also entering the final 12 months of his deal.

“Leny Yoro and Jonathan David can leave the club this summer,” Letang recently said at a press conference, relayed by Fabrizio Romano. “Both have the ‘exit voucher’ due to their contract situation.”

David is one of three strikers on United’s shortlist, per The Independent. There is interest in Brentford’s Ivan Toney too, though Joshua Zirkzee of Bologna appears to have emerged as the number one pick thanks in part to the affordable £34 million release clause in his contract.

  • READ: Who is Jarrad Branthwaite? Everything you need to know…

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