Real Madrid debate summer move for Lille’s Yoro – sources

Real Madrid are long-term admirers of Lille centre-back Leny Yoro and have been receiving positive reports about his progress, sources have told ESPN, but there’s a debate within the club over whether to try and sign him in this summer’s transfer window.

Yoro, 18, has a contract at Lille until June 2025 and a number of top European clubs are monitoring his situation with an eye to a deal.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Madrid’s priority signings for the 2024-25 season are the arrival of Kylian Mbappé from Paris Saint-Germain and bringing in Bayern Munich left-back Alphonso Davies.

Sources told ESPN that some at Madrid believe they should wait another year before investing the €50 million ($54.3m) which Lille expect to receive for the teenager should they allow him to move on.

Others argue that it’s worth moving for him now, believing that if Madrid don’t do so this summer, the defender will end up joining another club.

A source told ESPN that Madrid would be best-positioned to sign Yoro if they opted to push for his signature, but said that PSG and Chelsea are also keen.

Yoro’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has an excellent relationship with PSG’s sporting director Luis Campos.

A separate source told ESPN that Yoro has been in contact with at least two players from the Madrid first team in recent months to get an idea of what awaits him at the Bernabeu if a deal comes to fruition.

Madrid have four senior central defenders in their squad: Éder Militão, Antonio Rüdiger, David Alaba and Nacho Fernandez.

Yoro would fit into the club’s long-standing policy of signing outstanding young prospects from Europe and around the world, such as Vinícius Júnior, Eduardo Camavinga, Rodrygo Goes and Endrick.

However, there is no consensus within the club on his signing as Madrid’s initial plan had been to delay the rebuild of the centre of defence until the summer of 2025.

Alaba and Rudiger are both 31, while Militao is just 26.

Madrid are also concerned about the prospect of a bidding war for Yoro’s signature, which would raise the potential cost of a deal.

Yoro made his debut for Lille at the end of the 2021-22 season and quickly caught the eye, with sources at the club highlighting his physique and ball-playing skills.

The defender is already a France international at under-21 level, and is expected to soon receive a call-up from Didier Deschamps to the senior team given the level of his performances this season.

Information from ESPN’s Julien Laurens contributed to this report.