By Craig Scott

14th Jul, 2022 | 4:10pm

Leeds United can '100%' afford personal terms with Charles De Ketelaere amid latest development - Phil Hay

Leeds United can “100 per cent” finance a deal for Club Brugge forward Charles De Ketelaere and match the personal terms the Belgium international wants, according to Phil Hay.

The Athletic journalist reports that the Whites are in hot pursuit of the 21-year-old and won’t have any issues in pulling off the deal from a financial perspective.

Hay, however, is concerned that AC Milan are getting closer to landing the Belgian with the Serie A champions his preferred option ahead of Leeds.

Speaking on the latest episode of The Phil Hay Show podcast on Thursday (14 July, 11m38s), Hay said: “They are – and have been – hugely keen on Charles De Ketelaere.

“They can meet Brugges’ terms, they can meet his personal terms as well.

“The problem is that it’s become no secret at all that De Ketelaere wants to go to AC Milan. That’s his club of choice, his move of choice.

“And it does feel a little like Milan are creeping towards being able to pay what Brugge want them to pay.

“I spoke to someone this morning (Wednesday, 13 July) in Belgium who said it still isn’t agreed at that end yet and it isn’t done.

“But I think there’s always been the prevailing view at Leeds that it’s going to be the San Siro for him as much as they like De Ketelaere and as much as they want him.

“He seems pretty set on Serie A and Milan being the club he wants to go to.”

Hay added: “But in terms of finances, it’s 100 per cent a deal Leeds can do.”

Go above and beyond

De Ketelaere feels like the only player Leeds are actively pursuing at this moment in time.

Other players are being linked with Elland Road but none of them as strongly as the Club Brugge forward who scored 18 goals in all competitions last season to help his team win the Belgian league title.

There’s a good reason why Leeds are pushing hard to sign De Ketelaere because he’s a top player and can surely make an impact in Jesse Marsch’s squad.

However, it seems as though his heart is set on AC Milan.

In that case, are Leeds wasting their time?

We still have a month and a half to go before the transfer window closes but the new 2022/23 Premier League will soon be upon us.

Marsch and Victor Orta have moved fast to seal new signings so far and that should stand them in good stead ahead of Leeds’ Premier League opener against Wolves at Molineux on 6 August.

Is it time to give up on De Ketelaere and move on to another target to ensure they’re up to speed in time for that clash against Wolves?

It could be worthwhile because although Leeds fan afford De Ketelaere – he clearly wants to sign for Milan.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are set to use fresh funding to try and complete a box-office signing at Elland Road.