Everton are set to battle fellow Premier League side Leeds United for Belgian sensation Charles De Ketelaere.
According to the print edition of Gazzetta dello Sport, as relayed by Goodison News, Premier League side Everton have joined the race to land Club Brugge midfielder Charles De Ketelaere in the ongoing summer transfer window.
The 21-year-old is among the best young attacking talents in Europe and has performed at a high level in the Belgian first division. This has seen him attract attention from some of Europe’s biggest sides. AC Milan and Arsenal are keeping tabs on the player’s progress, while Leeds United seem intent to beat them to the punch.
Everton have joined the pursuit and are hoping to steal a march for De Ketelaere’s signature. Frank Lampard’s side escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth last season and have already lost one of their best players this summer in Richarlison. With Anthony Gordon also touted to leave Goodison Park, the Toffees will have a job on their hands to rebuild the roster.
One major concern in the squad is the lack of a midfield attacker who can pry open opposition defences at will. De Ketelaere certainly fits that description, and landing him would be a coup for the Merseyside club.
As things stand, the Belgian is keen on a move to Serie A champions AC Milan. The Rossoneri, however, are struggling to fork out the cash, leaving the door open for other parties to make their move. Leeds are also very interested in the player and are ready to splash up to £34.1 million for his services including bonuses.
While Leeds are no better than Everton, they appear to have a solid plan this summer and have invested well so far. Despite signing Luis Sinisterra, the potential loss of Raphinha will leave a void in the Yorkshire side’s attack. Securing De Ketelaere will give Jesse Marsch the ideal central attacker around whom he can build a youthful and exciting side.
Everton are miles away from regaining their position as a relevant side at the top of the table. They need more than De Ketelaere to turn their fortunes around, and the Belgian could, in fact, do better. Should the Merseysiders pull it off, it will certainly come as a surprise.