Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Charles De Ketelaere: ‘Last effort’ from AC Milan as Serie A giants draw up improved offer for Leeds-linked star

Charles de Ketelaere Club Brugge striker

AC Milan are not giving up on Leeds United target Charles De Ketelaere and are preparing to come back with an improved offer him, according to a report.

AC Milan officials recently travelled to Belgium to finalise a deal with Club Brugge. After returning from the meeting, Rossoneri director Paolo Maldini called the talks ‘good’ and revealed Milan were ‘confident’ of signing De Ketelaere.

However, that was five days ago and a transfer to the San Siro is still yet to go through.

Leeds are keeping tabs on the situation and have bid £33.9million for the attacker, as per Fabrizio Romano.

However, the main stumbling block for the Whites is De Ketelaere’s transfer preference. He would prefer to join Milan over Jesse Marsch’s side, meaning a switch to Serie A is the most likely scenario.

De Ketelaere missed Club Brugge’s first match of the new season due to negotiations between the Jupiler Pro League club and Milan.

According to Belgian outlet RTL Sport (via Sempre Milan), Milan’s first bid has been rejected and club chiefs are now plotting a second offer.

Calciomercato journalist Daniele Longo states this will be their ‘last effort’. The improved terms are set to be worth £27.9m and will include a sell-on clause for Club Brugge.

Milan gunning for Charles De Ketelaere solution

Milan hope this sell-on clause will result in the two clubs finally reaching an agreement for De Ketelaere’s move.

Even Milan’s second bid falls below Leeds’ original offer, which came about last month.

However, De Ketelaere wants to play in the Champions League and this is one of the main reasons why he prefers a switch to Stefano Pioli’s team.

Leeds fans will be familiar with how a player’s preference can impact a deal. Leeds accepted Chelsea’s proposal for Brazilian winger Raphinha and the 25-year-old then looked set to move to Stamford Bridge.

However, Raphinha’s desire was to play for Barcelona and this forced Leeds to negotiate with the Spanish giants instead. Leeds went on to accept a less attractive proposal from Barca and Raphinha went to Spain.

Whites chief Victor Orta is not giving up on De Ketelaere just yet. But Milan are definitely in the driving seat when it comes to his next move and this will probably force Leeds to look at other attackers.

One option is Arnaud Kalimuendo of Paris Saint-Germain. Leeds have agreed a deal in principle with PSG for the Frenchman, according to TEAMtalk contributor Graeme Bailey.

And PSG boss Christopher Galtier recently hinted Kalimuendo could move. The coach said: “I’m more than happy with him. He’s doing great but then there’s the market. We’ll see the club’s and the player’s decision.”

Kalimuendo isn’t as versatile as De Ketelaere, as the latter can operate pretty much anywhere in attack. But Kalimuendo would still be a good option to provide Patrick Bamford and Joe Gelhardt with competition up front.

Meanwhile, Leeds are reportedly ready to offer veteran keeper Ben Foster a one-year deal to become Illan Meslier’s backup.