Leeds United

Leeds United: Journalist insists that Whites aren’t out of De Ketelaere race yet


Journalist James Marshment believes that Leeds United are still in with a shout of landing Charles De Ketelaere this summer.

It has been over two weeks since Gianluca Di Marzio (via Fabrizio Romano) reported that AC Milan had opened the bidding for the Belgian starlet with a proposal of €20m (£17.1m) plus add-ons tabled.

However, as expected, Club Brugge are seeking a higher transfer fee and Alexandre Braeckman has told footballnews24 that Milan won’t exceed a fixed price of €30m (£25.5m) but are prepared to increase the bonuses involved.

Meanwhile, Leeds already have an offer of £31m on the table for the 21-year-old starlet and Marshemnt has pointed to Sven Botman’s move to Newcastle earlier this summer as evidence that the Whites may still be able to get this deal over the line despite the player’s preference being the Serie A winners.

Speaking on the JustJoe Football Show, he said:

“When it came to Botman, they had a certain price in mind and they absolutely were not prepared to go higher than it.

“Of course, the situation was that Newcastle offered Lille a lot more for Botman so Milan couldn’t match it.
“We’re in exactly the same situation now with the De Ketelaere and Milan and Leeds.

“So, you know, if Brugge get, I won’t say greedy, because they’re entitled to ask what a player they feel is worth.

“So I think there remains a chance that Leeds could sign him and it ultimately will probably come down to Brugge and whether this final bid from Milan is good enough.

“Probably perhaps by the end of the weekend, Leeds will know one way or the other where De Ketelaere is going and you know, come Sunday, there’s still two weeks before the season start, it’s absolutely fine and not a panic at this stage.”

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Indeed back in June, it was claimed by La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia) that Botman also preferred a move to Italy with Milan but of course, has since moved to Tyneside and Leeds will be hoping that the Rossoneri fail to trump up what’s required but as Marshment outlined it won’t cause the club to panic.

They have made six signings already this window and with links to Arnaud Kalimuendo and Martin Terrier as possible alternatives should a deal for De Ketelaere not transpire they will be confident of bringing in a striker which seems to be the last item on Jesse Marsch’s shopping list.

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