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Leeds hope to land Charles De Ketelaere with increased offer
Sunday, 24th Jul 2022 21:51 by Tim Whelan

eeds have increased the bid for Charles De Ketelaere to €40 million, which is likely to be beyond the means of AC Milan, our rivals for the Belgian’s signature. But the player himself is said to prefer a move to the Italian Champions.

De Ketelaere usually operates as an attacking central midfielder, but can play on either wing, if we should ever feel that we haven’t got enough wingers up front already. And he’s known to make intelligent late runs into the box, where his height of 6 foot 3 comes in handy, but although he could become a backup for Patrick Bamford if necessary, he doesn’t often play as an out and out striker.

The 21-year-old scored 18 times for Club Brugge during last season, and it’s no surprise that when Club Brugge announced they were willing to part with him if the price was right, there was plenty of interest from across the continent. Leicester City were said to have made an enquiry, but AC Milan seemed to be the front runners, with technical director Paolo Maldini making several trips to Belgium in pursuit of a deal.

But the San Siro mob are said to be unable to come up with Brugge’s asking price of €35 million, nor to be able to compete with the financial clout of Leeds. Even though Milan are the Italian champions and we just avoided relegation, our income last season exceeded theirs by £20m, such is the value of the Premier League’s TV contracts and the viewing figures we pull in thanks to our large fanbase.

But the player himself has expressed a preference for going to Milan, with the lure of Champions League football no doubt proving to be more attractive than the higher wages on offer at Elland Road.

Milan are now relying on the will of the player to secure his signature rather than tyring to compete with our spending power, and as we’ve seen with Raphinha, a player will often end up where he most wants to go, rather than the club who is offering the most money. So fingers crossed that we will land this exciting talent, but nothing is guaranteed just yet.


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