AC Milan must up their £31m bid for Leeds target Charles de Ketelaere

Serie A champions AC Milan must up their bid for Club Brugge’s Charles de Ketelaere to £31m… with Leeds waiting in the wings to swoop for the Belgian attacking midfielder

  • AC Milan will need to increase their bid for Charles de Ketelaere to £31million
  • They face pressure to complete the deal with Leeds watching on interested
  • The Belgian attacking midfielder has been a long-term target for Jesse Marsch 

Leeds United are waiting in the wings after AC Milan’s attempts to sign Club Bruges striker Charles De Ketelaere hit another impasse.

The Belgian has been Leeds’ No 1 summer target — underlined by their willingness to offer £31million for the 6ft 3in 21-year-old.

But De Ketelaere has only had eyes for Milan and that has stalled Leeds’ summer.

AC Milan’s pursuit of Charles de Ketelaere has met a stumbling block over his valuation

The Italians, though, are finding it hard to match Leeds’ bid and another meeting on Tuesday failed to make a breakthrough.

The 21-year-old Belgian managed 18 goals and 10 assists in 48 games last season

Paolo Maldini and Milan director of football Ricky Massara met with Bruges chief executive Vincent Mannaert, a notoriously tough negotiator. 

And he was resolute that unless Milan increase their offer — currently at £27m — no deal will be made. Maldini and Massara are in Lugano and are expected to call CEO Ivan Gazidis in order to update Milan owners Elliott Management and ask for the release of more funds. 

Elliott Management have not expressed great desire to increase the budget so far as they are due to be taken over by RedBird Capital in September.

Milan have been preparing alternatives with Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech willing to move. 

For Leeds, the anxiety grows. They have made it clear De Ketelaere would be most welcome in Yorkshire.

Jesse Marsch has identified de Ketelaere as his number one transfer target this summer

Boss Jesse Marsch said: ‘I think it’s been well-documented that De Ketelaere was a goal of ours and it’s not finished yet with him.’

Leeds have scouted Martin Terrier at Rennes and spoken to Paris Saint Germain about Arnaud Kalimuendo and have considered Blackburn’s Ben Brereton-Diaz, who is also a target for West Ham. 

Jack Harrison looks set to stay with Newcastle unwilling to match Leeds’ £35m-plus valuation.

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