Fabrizio Romano states Charles De Ketelaere is on the verge of leaving Club Brugge for the next step in his career, while the Belgian side are busy looking for his successor.
In June, Leeds sent an offer worth £33.5million to Club Brugge for De Ketelaere. The Whites were hopeful of usurping AC Milan in the transfer race.
However, De Ketelaere’s preference is to play for the reigning Serie A champions as they can offer him Champions League football. Leeds, in contrast, came 17th in the Premier League last season and took part in a relegation battle.
Milan’s offer for the attacker isn’t as good as Leeds’. As much as Brugge would like to accept the latter bid, De Ketelaere is pushing them into talks with Milan.
In the early hours of Friday morning, Romano revealed an agreement between the Rossoneri and Brugge is ‘getting closer’.
He has now come in with an update. The journalist claims De Ketelaere is ‘one step away’ from linking up Milan, and the transfer is a ‘matter of time’.
This suggests Milan and Brugge are adding the final touches to the deal which will take the 21-year-old to the San Siro.
It is worth £29.4m. This is £4.1m less than the bid from Jesse Marsch’s team. And De Ketelaere will take home £36,000 a week in Italy, as per Sempre Milan. Leeds would have been able to offer him far more than this, but money isn’t the Belgium international’s priority right now.
Club Brugge eye Charles De Ketelaere successor
Romano goes on to reveal Brugge are in talks over signing De Ketelaere’s replacement in attack. Jurgen Ekkelenkamp of Hertha Berlin is their ‘main target’ and discussions between the two clubs are underway.
Brugge will have to fight off Jupiler Pro League rivals Royal Antwerp to land Ekkelenkamp. But Brugge are in the driving seat right now and have the most need for the Dutchman, making them likely to pay more.
Leeds were hoping Milan would falter in the pursuit for De Ketelaere. They were ready and waiting to snap him up if Milan failed to put up the necessary money.
However, the Italians are close to announcing his signing and this means Leeds will have to focus on other targets.
They need attacking reinforcements after being hampered by Patrick Bamford’s injury problems last season. Plus, Raphinha has gone to Barcelona in a reported £55m transfer.
One player the Whites are looking at is Rennes forward Martin Terrier. He is a former France U21 international who managed 21 goals in 45 matches last season. However, Leeds will have to beat Everton to his signature.