Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Charles De Ketelaere: Details of lowly Milan wages are revealed as reasons for Leeds United snub emerge

Charles De Ketelaere pictured during the winter training camp of Belgian first division soccer team Club Brugge KV in Doha, Qatar,

AC Milan are on the brink of announcing the signing of Charles De Ketelaere transfer – and details of the eyebrow-raising salary he has agreed with the Italian giants has emerged.

The saga around the 21-year-old’s future has been ongoing for most of the summer. The Club Brugges star has emerged as a player of enormous potential after a standout season in Belgium. With his side winning the Jupiler Pro League, De Ketelaere scored 18 goals and added 10 assists from his advanced midfield role.

That has earned him comparisons with Kevin De Bruyne, with the Manchester City skipper taking him under his wing with Belgium. But interest in the player has led to a fierce transfer wrangle over his services, with Leeds and Milan going toe-to-toe.

Ultimately, it was the Italian giants who always held the advantage. They agreed terms with the player some weeks ago, with De Ketelaere also making clear his wish to sign for the Rosoneri.

But there remained a big problem for Milan in terms of agreeing a transfer package with Brugges. Multiple efforts to agree a fee saw Brugges persistently rebuff their bid. That was after a no-nonsense approach from Leeds – worth £33.9m – was agreed at the back end of June.

Try as they might though, Brugges were simply unwilling to compromise on their asking price. Eventually, after what was described as a ‘final effort’ from Milan, an agreement was brokered. That came after De Ketelaere reportedly made it clear to his side he had no intention of joining Leeds.

To that end, Milan have reportedly struck a deal worth £29.4m for the player. That arrangement will also include a future percentage sell-on fee.

And the Italian champions will likely formally announce his signing before the end of the week.

Charles De Ketelaere could have earned more at Leeds United

As such, De Ketelaere will likely be made available to coach Stefano Piolo for training by Friday.

Now further details have emerged on the deal the eight-times capped star will be earning at Milan.

As cited by Sempre Milan, De Ketelaere will sign a five-year deal, keeping him at the San Siro until summer 2027.

His contract will be worth €2.3m net per season, earning the player a deal worth £36,000 a week.

Unsuprisingly, that is lower than the package Leeds would have been willing to tempt De Ketelaere with. Their outgoing top-earner, Raphinha, was on an estimated £63,000 a week deal. And while De Ketelaere would not have been paid that, he would have earned a package befitting of being their record signing.

As it goes, Milan will be delighted with the fee they have paid for the 21-year-old. He can play in an advanced midfield position, on either wing or, as he now prefers as the main striker.

Charles de Ketelaere, Club Brugge v Gent July 2022

His impending arrival at Milan is already being warmly greeted by those with connections to the club.

Indeed, former midfielder Demetrio Albertini has discussed to Gazzetta dello Sport how he sees De Ketelaere fitting into the side and the factors around his decision to pick Milan.

“In Pioli’s 4-2-3-1 he can play multiple roles, but he is first and foremost a trequartista. A potential champion, because he is a modern player, of international calibre. Also at 21 years old, he already has more experience in the Champions League than many players in current Milan.

“And then there is the usual factor that will affect, you will see.”

Star compared to Toni Kroos and Kevin De Bruyne

Asked what will have persuaded him to join Milan, Albertini had little doubt that Pioli will have had an influence.

“Stefano Pioli. Tonali, Leao, Theo, Kessie himself… How many has he improved? Great coaches are those with whom champions also grow, but Pioli has done even better. His Milan have become champions by improving.

“Milan chose De Ketelaere, but he also chose the Rossoneri. He knows that the technical project is perfect for him.”

Having already been compared to compatriot De Bruyne, Albertini reckons he also compares to Toni Kroos.

“He’s not only talented, he can make himself available to the team’s needs and play in many areas of the pitch.

Leeds in battle for Charles De Ketelaere

Leeds are in a battle with AC Milan for Belgian youngster Charles De Ketelaere.

“I think he has potential to join the ranks of greats like De Bruyne or Kroos, different from each other in terms of characteristics, but all capable of giving their all in a game of positional exchanges.

“This is today’s football, in my time [Zvonimir] Boban was one of the few who interpreted it in this way, he was incredibly modern and had extraordinary qualities, this led him to play as a midfielder, as a winger, as a trequartista, always at a very high level.

“Here, Charles De Ketelaere is totally different from Boban, but he is as versatile as he was. The tactical path made by Zvone in Milan can be a model, in this sense De Ketelaere can follow in his footsteps.”

Despite the setback, Leeds, should soon announce some good news of their own with TEAMtalk able to reveal details of the new deal Joe Gelhardt has agreed.