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Lille boss already made transfer prediction about Liverpool target Leny Yoro

Leny Yoro could leave Lille this summer.
-Credit: (Image: 2024 Catherine Steenkeste)


Liverpool is likely to be in the hunt for a new defender this summer. Joël Matip's contract is expiring and the Cameroonian will leave Anfield after eight years at the club.

Matip's departure will leave a gap in the defense that will need to be plugged. Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté were Jürgen Klopp's first-choice defenders last season, with Jarell Quansah also having a breakthrough season. Yet there's now the need for a fourth central defender.

One of those who has been linked to Liverpool in recent times is Lille defender Leny Yoro, and the youngster could make for a great addition to the squad. Of course, with Arne Slot arriving as manager and Richard Hughes as sporting director, the pair will have their own ideas on who they will want to bring into the team this summer, but Yoro is still likely to be a candidate considering his potential.

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Yoro was outstanding for Lille this season, making 44 appearances in all competitions and helping the French side to fourth in Ligue 1. Current Lille coach Paulo Fonseca believes Yoro has a great future ahead of him, and said as much in a recent interview with the British media.

"To me, the players don't have age, they have quality," Lille boss Paulo Fonseca told BBC Sport in April. "Because here we don't have the possibility to buy very expensive players, we find a way to make the young players grow.

"I believe Leny [Yoro] in the next year will be at one of the best clubs in Europe. He started here at 16 with us. He is very ambitious but very disciplined. He grew a lot but he is a kid with a big maturity, with big quality. He's very focused, very concentrated, he wants to learn every day and I have no doubt in modern football he will be one of the best central defenders in the world."

Yoro has been linked with the likes of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in recent times, and with Van Dijk about to turn 33, Liverpool does eventually need to look to the future of its defense. Should Yoro sign, he and Konaté could be Liverpool's center-back pairing for years to come, with only Quansah potentially having something to say about that.

Yoro is reported to have already said his goodbyes at Lille, pending a move this summer. With his contract expiring next year, Lille knows it would be wise to cash in now, with his manager predicting as much. The only mystery now is where he ends up.

Liverpool.com says: Yoro has a very bright future ahead of him, and Liverpool would be smart to put itself in the mix to sign the teenager. At just 18, he could be a part of Liverpool's midfield for years to come. The battle to sign him will be fierce, but he could be well worth it.