Leeds Utd have reignited their interest in a Belgian forward they chased over the summer, and that news has sparked a decisive response from a journalist in the country where he plays.
The Whites tried and failed to land Charles De Ketelaere from Club Brugge over the summer. The 21-year-old wound up moving to AC Milan for a fee of around £27.5m. Leeds did offer Brugge a higher sum, but the player only had eyes for the Serie A champions.
Since sealing his move, De Ketelaere has failed to catch fire in Italy.
His 13 Serie A appearances have produced zero goals and just one assist. That prompted club chief Paolo Maldini to weigh in on De Ketelaere’s slow start.
“He is suffering, it is a different environment with different pressures,” Maldini admitted, as reported by Sempre Milan.
“He has more knowledge than before. We signed a five-year contract with Charles not five months, we are waiting for him, just as we are waiting for [Divock] Origi.
“They have everything to be decisive. We have had many examples of players who took a while to understand what is needed to play at Milan.”
Leeds Utd willing, but Italian radio delivers final dagger
TEAMtalk then learned Leeds’ admiration of De Ketelaere has not waned since his summer snub.
Jesse Marsch’s side have asked to be kept informed about Milan’s intentions for the attacker and would be willing to bring him on board in January, even if only on loan.
We understand Milan have resisted Leeds’ approach, and the latest from Italy has all but closed the case altogether.
Italian journalist, Carlo Pellegatti, was interviewed by Radio Rossonera and shed light on Milan’s exact plans for the winter window.
“Don’t even talk about it,” retorted Pellegatti. “Milan absolutely do not want to move him.
“A few days ago, I asked if [Milan] were going to go 10 [second striker – de Ketelaere’s position] or 7 [right winger] in the market and was clearly told we don’t need a 10.”
“The difficulties of the last few weeks are only temporary. They don’t think he isn’t a player who will be able to express his qualities in the coming months.”