A pair of Lille defenders are courting heavyweight interest from Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham, TEAMtalk can exclusively reveal.
Lille boast one of the youngest Ligue 1 sides in the 2023/24 season by the average age of their starting eleven. But despite their relative inexperience, Paulo Fonseca’s side are flying high in fourth position in Ligue 1 and sit atop Group A in the Europa Conference League.
Two of Lille’s younger players in particular who are beginning to attract interest from England’s elite are Leny Yoro and Tiago Santos.
Yoro, 18, plays at centre-half and has started 12 of Lille’s 14 matches in Ligue 1 this season. The 6ft 3in defender has also been playing in the Europa Conference League.
Right-back Santos, 21, has also been impressive and has made 11 starts across the two competitions.
Santos has been capped at Under-21 level for Portugal, while Yoro has made four appearances for France’s Under-21s.
Their performances at club level have helped the French club re-emerge as one of the league’s most exciting sides.
The pair have also added steel to the backline, with Lille’s mark of 11 goals conceded good enough for joint-second best (tied with PSG) in Ligue 1 this year.
Lille’s overall style of play has impressed scouts from English clubs who are now starting to prioritise Lille as a club to watch over the coming year.
But rather than just stick to a watching brief, the Premier League sides are taking a genuine transfer interest in Yoro and Santos.
Yoro is understood to be viewed slightly more favourably than Santos despite being the younger of the pair, though both players have received glowing reports from the scouts of the interested English sides.
Yoro has been on Lille’s books since 2017. Santos, meanwhile, cost €6.5m when signed from Portuguese club Estoril on July 5.
Santos is protected by a lengthy contract having signed a five-year deal upon arrival from Estoril.
Yoro’s current deal expires at the end of the 2024/25 season, thus putting Lille in a far more vulnerable position regarding their centre-half.