Charles De Ketelaere latest: Serious abyss between Milan, Brugges as Leeds get hope and Maldini provides update

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Charles De Ketelaere during international friendly - Republic of Ireland v Belgium - Aviva Stadium, Dublin Credit: PA Images
Charles De Ketelaere during international friendly - Republic of Ireland v Belgium - Aviva Stadium, Dublin Credit: PA Images

Leeds United have renewed hope that they can still secure the signing of Charles De Ketelaere after claims in the Belgium media suggested AC Milan’s hopes over a deal were fading.

The 21-year-old forward finds himself in high demand this summer after emerging as a player of huge potential. Indeed, his 18 goals and 10 assists last season earned him plaudits around Europe. And his billing as ‘the next Kevin De Bruyne’ only served to manifest the interest in his services.

That chase was initially led by Leicester, with the Foxes coming into the picture in January. However, it seems they have faded from the race with Leeds and Milan facing off to secure his signature.

Fuelled by a desire to bring in a new forward to cover and provide competition for Patrick Bamford, Leeds’ need is obvious. Furthermore, armed with the Raphinha cash from Barcelona, they have seen a hefty £31.5m offer accepted by Brugges.

De Ketelaere, however, seems intent on signing for Milan. He has already agreed personal terms over a move that would net him around £40,000 a week.

But striking a deal with Brugges has been more problematic. They have seen two offers fall well short of Leeds’ bid.

And a delegation from Milan, including technical director Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara, flew to Belgium for a direct meeting over the deal on Wednesday.

It was expected that they would present a third and final offer for the player. However, Maldini and Massara left Belgium without an agreement in place.

Conflicting reports on Charles De Ketelaere transfer

Despite this, reports in the Italian press insist the deal remains on track.

Speaking to reporters, as relayed by Sempre Milan, Maldini tried to reflect a positive persona.

‘How did it go?’ Maldini was asked, to which he replied: ‘Good’.

He was then asked: ‘Is there a confidence?’, to which he responded ‘Let’s try!’.

However, Belgian paper Het Laatste Nieuws paints a very different spin on proceedings.

They claim Maldini and Massara are no nearer to striking an agreement for De Ketelaere and left Brugges without making much progress at all.

Furthermore, they claim ‘there is an abyss’ between the two clubs. And while negotiations have not stopped, Milan will need to make a decision in the next few days.

Leeds on standby to secure signing

It all means Leeds United still have hope of securing De Ketelaere’s signature.

Brugges are still to accept only one deal – the one from Leeds United.

And reports on Wednesday suggest the Whites remain on standby to secure his signing if the Milan bid fails.

That was a notion reflected by Jesse Marsch, who has come clean on Leeds’ efforts to sign the 21-year-old.

“The striker one, I think it’s been well documented that De Ketelaere was a goal of ours and it’s not finished yet with him,” Marsch stated.

“But we’ve also moved on to some other targets, trying to figure out which would be the best fit if in the end, which is what we believe, he will not be available.”

And with Leeds hovering in the backround, Belgian journalist Alexandre Braeckman, insists they are ‘very closely monitoring’ the situation.

Furthermore, he states the Whites will ‘counter-attack in the aftermath’ of a failure of Milan to secure his signing.

TEAMtalk understands, meanwhile, that Leeds are taking a tough stance on Jack Harrison amid an insulting opening bid from Newcastle.

The article Charles De Ketelaere latest: Serious abyss between Milan, Brugges as Leeds get hope and Maldini provides update appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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