Leeds United intend to make three more significant signings this summer, with Charles De Ketelaere reportedly their top target and a player they very much ‘love’.
The Whites are currently preparing to bid farewell to their two best and most influential players in Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha. Talismanic midfielder Phillips will finalise his £50m move to Manchester City on Friday, with Darko Gyabi moving in the opposite direction.
However, the situation with Raphinha looks less cut and dried despite Chelsea agreeing a huge fee up to £65m. His agent Deco is holding talks with Chelsea on Thursday – but it seems the Brazilian is still holding out for Barcelona.
Wherever he ends up, their star man does appear to have played his final game in a Leeds shirt.
And replacing their two top talents will be no mean feat for director of football Victor Orta.
With the best part of £100m likely to be burning a hole in their pockets, Leeds plan to invest their windfall on three new players.
Top of their list of targets is Club Brugges forward De Ketelaere. Compared to Kevin De Bruyne, De Ketelaere is also on the wanted list of Leicester and AC Milan.
But knowing Leeds may be seen as a stepping stone, the Whites are hopeful of striking a deal. To that end, Leeds have reportedly submitted an opening bid for the player, with the Belgian side’s asking price also coming to light.
The Whites are also on ther trail of Cody Gakpo, who would be a ready-made wing replacement for Raphinha.
Having scored 21 times and laying on 15 assists, it’s easy to see why he’s a player in demand.
They also want a replacement for Phillips too, with RB Salzburg’s Mohamed Camara top of their wishlist.
Charles De Ketelaere a player Leeds love
Discussing their interest and intent for all three players, transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano says Leeds’ plans are already underway.
Speaking on the Que Golazo show, Romano believes it will be a busy summer at Elland Road.
“From what I’m told, they will invest in three players now. They’ve already signed three players and they want to sign three more players after selling Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips.
“They will re-invest a big part of the money they’re receiving.
“I think it’s a very good and smart strategy.
“They want to restart with new talents. They’ve already signed three and they’re going to continue in the coming days.
“Let’s see what happens with Camara but for example, a player they love is Cody Gakpo from PSV. He’s a very good winger. [Another] player they love is De Ketelaere from Brugge, who’s on a similar list [to Gakpo].
“Leeds will be pretty busy in the coming weeks.”
Leeds United transfer strategy might just pay off
If Leeds United get these three signings, it might just prove a successful summer for the club.
Having gone so close to relegation last season, they evidentally need to strengthen the quality and depth of their squad.
And while Phillips and Raphinha will leave huge holes, these three players could fill that and potentially take them to the next level.
Signing though does appear a big ‘if’, given the competition for all three.
However, they also look to have brought in an exciting star for the future too in Gyabi.
Raphinha race is still on with Chelsea amongst the favourites
Leeds United still in talks with Barcelona for Raphinha deal but Chelsea lead the race amongst Premier League clubs
The 18-year-old London-born midfielder will become Leeds’ fourth signing of the summer as part of the Phillips deal.
Rated highly by Pep Guardiola, he looks to have all the tools to make it as a modern-day midfielder.
And if he fulfils on his early promise, Leeds may be making an extremely shrewd signing. They will also hope they can get the other three over the line in what is certain to prove a hectic few weeks.