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Rio Ferdinand begs phenom to join Man Utd after shock bid accepted, as Ten Hag told star is equal to Arsenal ace
Rio Ferdinand, Lille centre-back Leny Yoro, Arsenal defender William Saliba

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has begged Leny Yoro to snub Real Madrid and sign with the Red Devils after a surprise bid was accepted, and Ferdinand believes the Frenchman can be United’s answer to Arsenal ace William Saliba.

Yoro may only be 18 years of age, though has already cultivated a reputation as being one of the brightest defensive prospects French football has produced.

Yoro is already a regular starter in Ligue 1 with Lille and counts Man Utd, Liverpool, PSG and Real Madrid among his star-studded suitors.

Yoro’s current contract with Lille expires in the summer of 2025. Given the player has zero intention of signing a new deal, Lille have greenlit a sale this window.

Yoro has already signalled his intention to sign for Real Madrid. However, Los Blancos don’t wish to pay a cent more than €40m, while Lille believe they can generate higher fees by selling to Real’s rivals.

That proved the case on Tuesday when Man Utd thundered in with a bid worth €50m plus add-ons for Yoro. Lille quickly accepted the offer, and both they and United are now attempting to convince Yoro to move to Old Trafford.

Fabrizio Romano subsequently reported Real Madrid remain calm about the situation and are not overly concerned by Man Utd’s move.

Real Madrid believe Yoro’s strong preference for joining the club means they’ll be the ones to win the race when Yoro eventually leaves Lille.

Ferdinand begs Yoro to join Man Utd; makes Saliba comparison

One figure within the game who is praying Yoro experiences a change of heart and agrees to sign for Man Utd is Rio Ferdinand.

Speaking on his Vibe with Five podcast, the United legend repeatedly begged Yoro to snub Real Madrid in favour of signing with the Red Devils.

Furthermore, Ferdinand claimed Yoro’s ceiling is just as high as Arsenal ace William Saliba who has established himself as one of the Premier League’s top two centre-backs over the last two years. The other, of course, is Virgil van Dijk.

“I think Real Madrid are going to take Yoro instead [of William Saliba],” said Ferdinand. “I would love him to come to Man Utd.”

The pundit added: “If you’re looking Leny Yoro, please accept and come to Man Utd, please. Man Utd, please, make the offer and please accept because this kid, I think his ceiling is as high as anybody right now, including Saliba.”

Ferdinand went on to admit Yoro isn’t yet on the same level as Saliba from a physical standpoint. Though given the Lille man is only 18 years of age, that is to be expected at this stage of his career.

In any case, Ferdinand certainly rates Yoro extremely highly and reeled off a laundry list of impressive traits that make him a can’t miss signing.

“Physically, he’s not as developed or formidable [as Saliba], but he’s a different kind of central defender,” continued Ferdinand.

“He’s quick, and he tries to nibble to get in front, he can play, he’s long, tall, and mobile.”

Man Utd will hope to convince Yoro to change his mind and agree to join the club. In reality, by far the likeliest outcome is Yoro sticks to his guns and signs for Real Madrid, either this summer or next summer via free agency.

Man Utd hope to sign two new centre-backs this window and have agreed personal terms with both Matthijs De Ligt and Jarrad Branthwaite.

Bayern will sell De Ligt if bids of roughly €50m plus add-ons are tabled. Everton have already rejected two United bids for Branthwaite, with the biggest worth £50m (£45m plus £5m in add-ons).

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