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Manchester United eyeing Lille defender Leny Yoro ahead of January transfer window

Manchester United have started initial talks to sign Lille centre-back Leny Yoro, according to French outlet Le10Sport.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is also keeping tabs on the 18-year-old, and the publication claims the Ligue 1 prodigy is ‘making all of Europe salivate’.

Man United have plans to strengthen their defensive ranks with most of their current options in the centre-back positions 30 years and above.

The Red Devils have made a very concrete move and are looking at the French top-flight league ahead of the January transfer window in a bid to land a new defender.

Man United have already made contact with Yoro and Lille, but the French club want to hand him a contract extension, with his current deal expiring in 2025.

He has featured in 16 games across Ligue 1 and the Europa Conference League this term, weighing in with two goals, and his ball-playing abilities and confidence appear to have attracted the Red Devils and Man City.

Joining Man United or another club next month could be difficult for Yoro given that he has established himself as a starter and important player for Lille.

The 6ft 3in France youth international will be keen to continue playing regularly and earn a call-up to the senior national team ahead of the 2024 European Championships, and he is not guaranteed a place in the starting XI if he decides to join Man United in January.

He is also attracting other major clubs across Europe and could be willing to wait until at least next summer before pondering on his future.

While Yoro has huge potential and can become a top player a few years from now, the truth is that he is not the finished article and has not racked up enough experience to force his way into the starting XI at Man United.

He started playing first-team football last term and is still a long way from proving himself at a top level.

The Red Devils need players who can hit the ground running in the Premier League and help improve their fortunes as soon as possible, and the Lille youngster does not fit that profile.