Charles De Ketelaere could still join Leeds United this summer after £34m bid - Alexandre Braeckman
Leeds still have a 50-50 chance of signing Charles De Ketelaere this summer despite the player’s preference to join AC Milan, according to Alexandre Braeckman.
Leeds tabled a fresh £34m bid for the Belgian forward [90min, July 24] and AC Milan are still unwilling to match that figure and have been unable to agree a fee with Club Brugge.
According to Braeckman, who was speaking to JustJoe Football Show on YouTube, should that deal not be agreed between the Belgian and Italian champions then Leeds would stand a 50-50 chance of getting a deal done as De Ketelaere isn’t convinced by the project.
“He knows that he’s already good enough to play for Milan,” he said. “That’s the reality.
“He really believes in himself but if there is no deal [with Milan] he can’t do anything. So he’ll have two choices, two possibilities.
“At this moment it’s stay in Brugge, play in the Champions League but you know he will potentially finish fourth or third in the group. If it’s third they can still play the Europa League, but we know that Brugge is not the biggest club to win the Europa League or something. They can still play in the quarter-finals or something.
“Or he could play with Leeds, which is a good platform for him. Because he will be able to learn, he will have some time, he’ll have a good coach, good strategies and a good project. He knows that. But at the same time, the truth is it’s not clear if he will accept this kind of project or challenge.
“It’s hard to say honestly, but never say never.
“If there is only Leeds or Brugge, maybe he will choose Leeds. Honestly, it’s 50-50.”
Leeds fans want De Ketelaere, the board want him and the manager wants him, but if the feeling isn’t mutual then it’s hard to get a deal done obviously.
It’s rare that a saga isn’t the buying clubs fault but that is the case here. Leeds can’t do any more to get this deal over the line as it stands. They’ve met the asking price, are willing to meet personal term demands and moved quickly.
But it makes absolute sense why the player would wait for AC Milan if we’re all being honest with ourselves because they have Champions League football and are a club on the rise with a great history.
If Milan are unable to do a deal then it will be interesting to see if a deal can be done, but as Marsch already stated the club is unlikely to hang around for an answer. They’re already looking at alternatives.
The next two weeks before the season starts are crucial and a striker needs to be in place before that, whether it’s De Ketelaere or someone else.
In other Leeds news, this billionaire-owned PL club want to spend £25m on one Leeds ace