Leeds United could make one more attempt to sign Charles De Ketelaere…
What’s the word?
That’s according to journalist Alexandre Braeckman, who claimed to MOT Leeds News that the Yorkshire giants have submitted a final proposal for the Club Brugge maestro.
It’s thought that the Premier League side have offered a better package than that of Serie A champions AC Milan and are ready to swoop in should a move to the San Siro fail to materialise.
“Leeds will react immediately if a deal is not found,” the reporter revealed.
The Jupiler Pro League outfit reportedly want around €40m (£34m).
Best signing yet?
De Ketelaere has been a key target for manager Jesse Marsch all summer – the 48-year-old recently told reporters (via The Express): “I think it’s been well-documented that De Ketelaere was a goal of ours and it’s not finished yet with him.”
Do you want De Ketelaere at Leeds?
Indeed, director of football Victor Orta must continue to pursue the Belgium international as he could well become Leeds’ best signing yet, having already brought in six new players, including Red Bull trio Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen, and Luis Sinisterra from Feyenoord.
The Whites have, of course, also lost two key players in Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, and the latter’s influence will be hard to replace, but that is something that De Ketelaere can help to alleviate.
Capable of playing in a multitude of attacking positions, the 21-year-old dynamo can provide creativity and goal threat wherever he’s deployed. Last season, he was played in seven different roles and still managed to produce 18 goals and ten assists from 49 appearances, via Transfermarkt.
“He is actually an infiltrating No 8 or No 10, but rarely plays in this position,” claimed Belgian journalist Sven Claes to The Athletic. “He is already really phenomenal in handling the ball. His decisions under pressure are often very impressive.”
Also lauded as a “complete package” player by scout Jacek Kulig, De Ketelaere has also earned comparisons to Kevin De Bruyne, which only adds to the furore behind potentially signing him at Elland Road.
In terms of progressive passes (3.45 per 90), expected assists (0.29 per 90) and pressures (22.14 per 90), the Belgian star ranks inside the top 5% of his positional peers across Europe, and that makes him a superb fit for Marsch’s high-intensity system.
As such, the 6 foot 3 gem could be Leeds’ best signing this summer, and with a move to Milan stalling, it would make sense for Orta to come in with a late raid from their grasp.
AND in other news, Fabrizio Romano drops Leeds transfer update…