Alexandre Braeckman has dropped an update on the future of reported Leeds United transfer target Charles De Ketelaere.

What’s the latest?

In a series of recent posts on Twitter, the RTL Belgium journalist revealed that, while AC Milan and Club Brugge KV both appear confident that an agreement can be reached for the transfer of the 21-year-old, Victor Orta and his transfer team are keeping a very close eye on the negotiations between the two clubs, and are ready to move for the Belgium international should Milan’s move fall through.

In his posts, Braeckman said: “The discussion between AC Milan and the management of Brugge made it possible to communicate, in a very clear manner, the price requested and demanded by Bruges. Optimism confirmed on both sides: Milan will evaluate their final offer which will arrive ‘very quickly’.

“These discussions are followed very closely by LUFC, who will counter-attack immediately if no agreement is reached. They are ready to ‘steal’ the player if the Milan-Brugge deal fails.”

Then, in reply to a supporter asking whether the journalist believes Milan will land the striker, Braeckman added: “Let’s be careful. But from all my sources, I have the same optimistic return.”

Orta will be gutted

Considering that it has been widely reported that Leeds’ offer is of a much higher value than Milan’s proposal, in addition to De Ketelaere undoubtedly being one of the most exciting young forwards in European football, Braeckman’s suggestion that he is now optimistic about the Serie A side’s chances of landing the 21-year-old is sure to have left Orta gutted.

Indeed, over his 39 Jupiler Pro League appearances last season, the £27m-rated striker proved just how promising a prospect he truly is, scoring 14 goals, providing nine assists and creating 16 big chances for his teammates, in addition to making an average of 1.8 key passes, taking 2.0 shots and completing 1.4 dribbles per game.

These returns saw the £17k-per-week attacker average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.25, not only ranking him as Alfred Schreuder’s fourth-best performer in the league but also the 13th-best player in the division as a whole.

De Ketelaere also caught the eye over his six Champions League outings in 2021/22, registering one assist and creating one big chance, as well as 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 extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.98, ranking him as Brugge’s second-best performer in Europe’s most prestigious club competition.

As such, it is clear to see just how gutting a blow missing out on the eight-cap international will be for Orta, Jesse Marsch and supporters of the Whites alike, as De Ketelaere very much looks to possess the potential to become one of the most talented forwards in European football for the foreseeable future.

AND in other news: Orta can land “crazy” £89k-p/w Leeds target after big development, it’d be a real coup

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