Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Charles De Ketelaere: Leeds on standby for signing as Milan stance leaves Chelsea man floundering

Charles De Ketelaere pictured during a press conference of the Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA), Monday 21 March 2022in Tubize, during the preparations for the friendly games against and in Ireland (26/03) and against Burkina Faso

Leeds United will remain in the hunt for Charles De Ketelaere until the last possible moment and are on standby for his signing if Milan’s bid for the forward falls short.

The Belgian, 21, is a man in demand this summer with Leeds making clear their interest in signing him. Having scored 18 goals and weighed in with 10 assists, De Ketelaere is also the subject of a huge bid from Serie A champions AC Milan. And it seems a decision on his future is finally coming to a head.

Indeed, Leeds have an offer on the table with Brugges for around £31.5m – which would amount to a club-record fee. And while that has been accepted by the Belgian side, his preference is known to lie with Milan.

The Italian giants though have so far seen two proposals knocked back by Brugges, with both falling short of Leeds’ bid.

However, the two sides are due to hold talks on Wednesday, with Milan hoping a new proposal – said to be around £30m – hopefully doing the trick.

And while Leeds are chasing alternatives, including Martin Terrier, they are reported to have left their offer on the table. That’s on the off-chance that talks with Milan break down. Indeed, Sempre Milan even states that ‘a failure cannot be ruled out’.

Revealing the Leeds United state of play, journalist Dean Jones told Give Me Sport that the Whites remain on standby.

“We still have to assume that Milan get him, they are the firm favourites, but Leeds are ready,” he said. “If they don’t sign him, then Leeds are ready to get a deal done.

 

Charles De Ketelaere the priority over Hakim Ziyech

“We’re talking probably in the region of £30 million; Leeds have got that to spend. They know the terms of his contract, they are willing to pay him exactly what he wants.

“So, this deals ready to be signed off. If the Milan deal collapses, I think Leeds will get him.”

With De Ketelaere proving to be Milan’s main transfer focus, their stance has left another target, Hakim Ziyech, in the lurch.

The Moroccan has been cleared to leave Chelsea this summer with Milan holding talks over a prospective signing.

Indeed, the Blues are unlikely to stand in the player’s way if an offer of around £25m comes their way.

However, Milan can only afford one signing of such magnitute for their forward line. And according to reports, their main transfer focus remains De Ketelaere.

That stance means Ziyech has been left in something of transfer limbo as he awaits developments with De Ketelaere.

As it stands, though, Milan will not be pursuing his signing unless their efforts for De Ketelaere fail.

Either way, Leeds, Milan, De Ketelaere and Ziyech should all be a major step closer to learning their transfer fate come close of play Wednesday.

Leeds hopes hanging by a thread

As much as De Ketelaere is worth the wait, he appears unlikely to make the move to Leeds now. And with Brugges seemingly leaning towards accepting Milan’s third proposal, a move to the San Siro looks the likely outcome.

Clearly Leeds feel De Ketelaere is a player who could take the club to the next level. However, it seems the player’s focus is entirely on Milan, with reports suggesting he has already agreed personal terms worth around £40,000 a week.

As such, it would take a huge U-turn for De Ketelaere to end up signing for Leeds this summer.

Leeds in battle for Charles De Ketelaere

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

While leaving their offer on the table, Leeds have also been wisely pursuing other options.

Of those, it appears that Terrier looks the top choice. Another option is PSG youngster Arnaud Kalimuendo, who has impressed during two seasons on loan at Lens.

However, PSG’s new coach Christophe Galtier has revealed his plans for the player, dealing Leeds’ hope of a deal a blow.