By Joe Ellis

16th Jul, 2022 | 4:10pm

Leeds United still hold the advantage in race to sign Charles De Ketelaere despite expected new AC Milan bid

The race to sign Charles De Ketelaere is set to rumble on but Leeds United still maintain a monetary advantage over AC Milan.

Corriere Della Sera reported on 14 July [page 42] that the Whites had submitted a bid of £31.2million which would be a new club record signing should it go through but the Rossoneri are not prepared to give up their fight.

Calcio Mercato are now reporting that a third bid from the Italian champions is set to be launched on either Monday or Tuesday [18/19 July] after their £26.2million bid did not match our offer.

No matter what AC Milan do, it does not look like they can handle our financial power and especially now that Raphinha’s transfer to Barcelona has finally been confirmed and sorted.

That is at least £50million into our transfer kitty which is more than enough to drown the Italians in this race but it now all comes down to De Ketelaere himself and his preferences.

According to Phil Hay of The Athletic though, we are prepared to meet whatever demands the 21-year-old puts in front of us but the issue remains that he would prefer the Champions League football on offer to him in Milan.

But if the Rossoneri don’t match Brugge’s demands, then he will have no chance to join the Serie A winners of last season and that will leave us or Brugge as the only options to him.

Every player is enticed by the Premier League and the big wages that come with it so we still hold a reasonable advantage in this particular race.

Jesse Marsch needs a new attacker and has had his eye on the Belgian international for some time so while we have the chance, we need to try and make big moves to get this deal over the line.

In other Leeds United news, efforts are being increased in our chase of another striker but this one comes from different European league champions.