Fabrizio Romano has dropped an update on reported Leeds United transfer target Charles De Ketelaere.

What’s the word?

In a recent post on Twitter, the Italian journalist revealed that, despite Victor Orta being reported to have made a €37m (£31m) bid for the Club Brugge KV forward – an offer larger than the €30m (£25.5m) plus bonuses bid submitted by AC Milan – the Serie A side remain in pole position to land the 21-year-old this summer, as the player is prioritising a move to the San Siro ahead of one to Elland Road.

In his tweet, the transfer insider said: “Charles De Ketelaere didn’t play one single minute in the Supercup game between Club Brugge and Gent – no risk, as AC Milan are in talks to sign him. Leeds made an official bid two weeks ago – but AC Milan are leading the race since 10 days as player’s priority.”

Supporters will be gutted

Considering just how promising a talent De Ketelaere proved himself to be last season, Romano’s claim that, despite Leeds’ significantly better offer for the Belgium international, it is Milan who are leading the race for the forward’s signature is sure to have left the Elland Road faithful gutted.

Indeed, over his 39 Jupiler Pro League appearances in 2021/22, the £27m-rated attacker was in astonishing form for Alfred Schreuder’s side, bagging 14 goals, registering nine assists and creating 16 big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.0 shots, making 1.8 key passes and completing 1.4 dribbles per fixture.

These metrics saw the £17k-per-week talent average a rather sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.25, ranking him not only as his club’s fourth-best performer in the league but also the 13th-best player in the Belgian top flight as a whole.

The eight-cap international also impressed over his six Champions League fixtures last time out, providing one assist and creating one big chance for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 1.5 shots, making 1.8 key passes and completing one dribble per fixture.

These metrics saw the 21-year-old average an eye-catching SofaScore match rating of 6.98, ranking him as Brugge’s second-best player in the competition – a quite extraordinary feat considering the Belgian side were drawn in something of a group of death alongside Manchester City, RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain.

As such, considering the youngster’s undoubted ability and potential for exponential growth, Romano’s latest update on the Whites’ pursuit of De Ketelaere is sure to come as a gutting blow to everyone involved with the club – not least the Spanish director of football and Jesse Marsch.

AND in other news: Orta plotting Leeds bid for “high-level” £34m sensation, he’s better than De Ketelaere

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