Victor Orta gifted golden chance to sign £30m target for Leeds as Real Madrid raid alters star’s destiny
Leeds United will reportedly be presented with a fresh opportunity to sign a summer 2022 target after the club that beat them to the punch seemingly reached a drastic decision.
The Whites are currently locked in a battle for Premier League survival which looks likely to go the distance. Indeed, there are just five points separating nine teams in the bottom half of the table. Leeds are currently 19th and in the drop zone, but a couple of positive results could see them climb as high as 12th.
Indeed, having survived on the final day of last season, Leeds will hope to avoid such a nervy finish this time around. To that end, much of forthcoming summer transfer business will need to wait until they know exactly what division they are in.
To that end, decisions over a number of players, not least on-loan midfielder Weston McKennie – this week linked with a Premier League rival – will be made once the season draws to a close.
However, they will be presented with a chance to revisit a potential deal for a summer 2022 target who slipped through the net.
Charles De Ketelaere was the player in question, with Victor Orta establishing the Belgian as a prime summer target.
After a prolonged chase, though, Leeds ultimately were beaten to the punch by AC Milan. And while the Leeds bid was ultimately worth more, the 22-year-old star only had eyes for the Italian giants.
However, the move to the San Siro has not gone as planned for the forward. And while allowances were made for him being a young man in a new country, his struggles with Milan have continued over the season.
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Milan present Leeds with chance to sign De Ketelaere
Indeed, his tally of zero goals and one assist from 30 appearances makes for painful reading.
And now, for the first time, there are murmurings in the Italian press that all is not well for De Ketelaere.
To that end, Calciomercato reports that they are now ready to sell the player if the price is right.
Branding his spell at the club as ‘unsatisfactory’ so far, they are hoping to use monies from his sale to fund a deal for Brahim Diaz.
Currently on the third year on loan at AC Milan, he is scheduled to return to parent club, Real Madrid, this summer.
However, the report claims they want to turn his stay into a permanent one – and they will look to fund his potential £17.5m (€20m) move by moving De Ketelaere on first.
The article claims Milan’s focus will be on getting Diaz to sign on the dotted line in a move that will ‘change De Ketelaere’s destiny’.
Of course, whether Leeds will be tempted to go back in for De Ketelaere remains to be seen. They presented a strong case to sign him last summer only for the player to snub their advances.
And spending their money elsewhere, Leeds will not be overly enthused by his record since his £30m (€35m with add-ons) move to Italy.
Indeed, it would come as something of a surprise were Orta and Co to rekindle that interest, unless Milan were prepared to let him leave for a major loss.
That, though, is something they would appear unlikely to sign off either, meaning De Ketelaere will likely stay with Milan for now.
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