Leeds United have reportedly tabled a €37 million bid to sign 21-year-old Belgian forward Charles De Ketelaere from Club Brugge this summer.
In a fresh update on Leeds United’s pursuit of Charles De Ketelaere, Calciomercato journalist Daniele Longo has revealed the Whites have tabled a €37 million bid including add-ons for the Belgian international, which is significantly more than what AC Milan have tabled.
Leeds’s top-flight status was on thin ice last season before they stayed up on the final day of the Premier League campaign at the expense of Burnley. But following the departures of Kalvin Phillips, a major focus on bolstering depth is critical to their business in this window.
Despite doing excellent business by bringing in six new players this summer, the West Yorkshire club have yet to add a new striker to provide backup for primary marksman Patrick Bamford, who was plagued by injuries last season. As such, Club Brugge’s highly-coveted talent, Charles De Ketelaere, has emerged as the marquee option to complete the final piece of the jigsaw.
The Belgian international finds himself in high demand this summer following an excellent season for Club Brugge that saw him register 18 goals and ten assists in 49 outings across all competitions. Winning the Jupiler Pro League and stellar displays in the UEFA Champions League have only increased the player’s growing list of admirers.
And securing his signature this summer has become a tightly-contested race, with AC Milan and Leeds United looking to snap him up. It has been widely reported that De Ketelaere would prefer a switch to Milan over a move to Leeds as the Rossoneri could offer him Champions League football.
But Milan are believed to not be able to compete with Leeds’s financial muscle and are unwilling to pay more, or even match Leeds’s bid. They have already met with De Ketelaere’s agent and lodged their final bid worth €28 million plus a further €3 million in add-ons, with Club Brugge keen to sell to the English club instead to net more money upfront.
This has led to further conflicting reports, with some stating that Leeds have given up on their pursuit of De Ketelaere. Others tipping Leeds to step up their efforts to land the Belgian once they sell Raphinha.
Now that an official agreement in principle has been reached with Barcelona for the sale of Brazilian international, it seems Leeds are ready to splash the cash and have submitted an offer worth €37 million, including bonuses and add-ons, to prise the 21-year-old away from Club Brugge. That said, AC Milan remain in a strong position but must reach an agreement with Club Brugge to cement the deal for the versatile attacker.
Until they do, they leave the door open for Leeds to make things happen. It remains to be seen if Leeds can convince the Belgian forward to move to Elland Road. But if a move collapses, director Victor Orta has already lined up an alternative in the form of PSG forward Arnaud Kalimuendo, who excelled on loan at RC Lens last season and could cost them €25 million.