Charles De Ketelaere: Milan D-day arrives as expert rates Leeds Utd chances and Chelsea man waits in wings

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Charles De Ketelaere of Club Brugge and Sargis Adamyan of Club Brugge during the Jupiler Pro League match between Club Brugge and KAA Gent Credit: PA Images
Charles De Ketelaere of Club Brugge and Sargis Adamyan of Club Brugge during the Jupiler Pro League match between Club Brugge and KAA Gent Credit: PA Images

Leeds United will work to convince Charles De Ketelaere his future belongs at Elland Road the very second a move to AC Milan is called off, according to a Belgian journalist.

The Whites have spent close to £95m so far this summer as they look to avoid a repeat of last season’s relegation near miss. And in bringing in seven new stars, there is optimism in the Leeds ranks that a better season lies ahead. That said, their transfer dealings so far have been offset by the departures of their two star men in Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips.

However, the biggest and best signing could still on the cards for Leeds as they continue to chase a deal for De Ketelaere.

The Club Brugges forward is the subject of a huge £31.5m offer from Leeds – which would represent a club-record deal.

However, Milan are also keen on the 21-year-old, with talks ongoing for a number of weeks.

Milan have, so far, struggled to match Leeds’ bid for the player, putting his future in some doubt.

And a trip to Belgium for Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massala also failed to see any real progress made.

Furthermore, reports on Saturday suggested Milan may have to call time on the pursuit.

They remain some distance short of matching Brugges asking price. And it appears doubtful they will go any higher either.

To that end, Milan want a decision made by Sunday. And at the end of the day, they should know whether their pursuit has been successful.

Indeed, the Serie A champions also have other irons in the fire.

And failure to sign De Ketelaere will see them rekindle their bid to sign Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea (via Sempre Milan).

Leeds United on standby for Charles De Ketelaere

As such, Leeds are watching developments with a close interest.

Were his move to Milan to collapse, Leeds will then work to convince the player to sign for them instead.

RTL Sport journalist Alexandre Braeckman has delivered the latest.

“Situation unchanged,” he wrote on Twitter.

“If they don’t reach an agreement for sunday evening, it’s over. And then Leeds will go to try to convince the player, as they planned.”

Speaking on the Just Joe Football Show, Braeckman has provided an update on the saga.

And he admits Leeds will still have work to do if his move to Milan falls through.

“Of course. There is still a possibility that De Ketelaere can come to Leeds and use his time there as a stepping stone. All we can say right now is that Charles has chosen to play for Milan. They remain his top priority, but that’s not the situation that it was before, because he knows that Milan are struggling to secure a deal.

“He continues to push hard, his representaives too keep asking Brugges to accept Milan’s offer.

“But De Ketelaere knows that the Premier League is the biggest championship in the world. He’s talking a lot with Belgium superstars [about life in England] and Kevin De Bruyne is never saying ‘no, don’t come here’. But he knows he’s already good enough to play for Milan – that’s the reality.

“[As a player] He can do anything. But if there is no deal [with Milan] he has two choices, two possibilities. He can either stay with Brugges, play in the Champions League but risk them finishing third or fourth.

“Or at the same time, he can choose to make the move to Leeds. He knows it is a good platform for him. He will be able to learn, he will have time to improve further and he will have a good coach [in Jesse Marsch].

“But at the same time, it is not clear if he will, or will not, accept this project.”

Leeds have other options in the fire

Clearly Leeds United feel that De Ketelaere is a player worth waiting for. The player is tipped to become a huge star of the game and may feel a move to Leeds is below him.

However, given they are the only side to match Brugges’ asking price, it does give Leeds a chance.

Many supporters have asked why chase a player who clearly has his heart set on a move elsewhere. However, they clearly feel he is a player worth pursuing given his qualities.

Furthermore, Charles De Ketelaere only needs to look at the example set by Raphinha to see how a move to Leeds can help your career progress. At just 21 years of age, he has time on his hands to develop further and reach an even higher plain.

And if he fulfils his billing as the ‘next De Bruyne’ it appears likely any move to Leeds would be as a stepping stone for bigger and better things.

That said, Leeds do have other irons in the fire. They continue to pursue a deal for PSG’s Arnaud Kalimuendo amid claims a deal has been agreed.

Now PSG coach Christophe Galtier has provided an intriguing update on Kalimuendo amid Leeds interest.

The article Charles De Ketelaere: Milan D-day arrives as expert rates Leeds Utd chances and Chelsea man waits in wings appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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