Leny Yoro informs Real Madrid he wants to join club


Lille centre back Leny Yoro has informed Real Madrid that he wishes to join the club.

A deal is yet to be agreed and there are no direct conversations between the Lille and Real Madrid at this point.

The 18-year-old is happy with the personal terms proposed by Madrid, and should the move progress he would to join the club either this summer or next, depending on whether Madrid and Lille can strike a deal.

Lille are holding out for around €60million for Yoro, while Madrid do not want to pay more than around the €30m to €40m mark.

The Athletic reported Liverpool and Manchester United were actively pursuing a deal to sign Yoro, albeit with an acceptance that Madrid may ultimately win the contest. PSG were also among those strongly interested.

The belief held by most of his suitors had been that the France youth international would move to the Bernabeu, even if a deal does not materialise immediately, and those courting Yoro are now aware of his intentions. 

Yoro’s contract at Lille concludes in June 2025 and this is not expected to be extended, which would see him leaving as a free agent in 12 months’ time. He has not ruled out staying at Lille for one more year and he will consider this option as the summer progresses. His intention had been to leave the club this summer, but this hinges on Madrid and Lille reaching an agreement.

Yoro has emerged as one of the most coveted players in Europe after a fine season for Lille where he made 31 Ligue 1 appearances.

He was also at Wembley Stadium to watch Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at the beginning of June.

Why is Yoro so coveted?

Analysis from The Athletic’s tactic’s writer Anantaajith Raghuraman

Yoro is a throwback defender in some respects, due to his tendency to operate as the last man in Lille’s back line. This means his defensive involvements, such as blocks (0.67 per 90 minutes) and tackles, are limited in volume.

While he stays deeper, Yoro is agile and reads danger well, akin to Liverpool’s centre-back and captain Virgil van Dijk.

Yoro averaged 1.2 interceptions per 90 minutes in Ligue 1 last season, while committing just 0.7 fouls and 0.03 errors per 90, all of which point to his defensive upside.

This indicates Yoro’s stylistic approach involves reading and reacting to danger rather than aggressively closing down opponents. The parallels with Van Dijk (1.1 interceptions, 0.7 fouls committed and no errors) are evident.

Given his age and the areas he typically occupies on the pitch, it is not surprising that Yoro tends to err on the side of caution with both his passing and ball carrying.

The chart above provides a summary of Yoro’s strengths (passing distance and carries attempted) and weaknesses (ball progression) with respect to passing and carrying from last season.

It is worth noting, however, that some of this is again down to team style and coaching demands.

(Sameer Al-DoumyAFP via Getty Images))

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