By Mark Smith

28th Jul, 2022 | 4:10pm

Club Brugges chief Vincent Mannaert is continuing to hold Charles De Ketelaere in Belgium as the Leeds United saga continues, according to La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

The Italian newspaper has reported in their print edition [28 July, pg. 2] that AC Milan have tabled an offer which adds up to £29.3million including add-ons, which has brought no response so far.

Mannaert is said to hold a poker face as things stand with Leeds’ bid of around £34million being used seemingly as bait to the advantage of Brugges.

Writing in their latest snippet on the Belgian which appears to be daily at this moment, La Gazzetta shared the latest news on the matter between the three clubs and player.

“Vincent Mannaert, lawyer and calciatore footballer, managing director of Brugges, holds Charles De Ketelaere for the shirt,” they wrote. “Charles runs away and snatches, he wants to go to Milan, but Brugges somehow clings on and holds him back in Belgium – at least for now.

“Brugges for CDK, Milan has always asked for €35million [£29.3m]. And to those who looked crooked, he signalled to look north, because Leeds put €40million [£34million] on the table.”

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Mannaert is playing a huge role in this transfer saga, and it could help us.

Victor Orta will be waiting ready to go and get this deal over the line should AC Milan continue to fail in their talks, despite everyone being told they will find an agreement with each passing day.

Club Brugges can use Leeds’ bid to drive the price of De Ketelaere up, and that is something that Milan simply cannot live with as they don’t have that financial power.

There is no hiding from the fact that we desperately need a new striker as well as another left-back through the door before the season starts at Elland Road against Wolves.

De Ketelaere would get the same money and the same passion at Elland Road, the only we can’t deliver at this stage is Champions League football.

A decision is going to have to be made soon, either Brugges and Mannaert tell Milan it isn’t happening, or they let him go – either way, Leeds will be ready.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites now want to sign this striker with a rival set to kickstart a major £30million+ transfer battle