Club Brugge CEO says Leeds offered £34m to sign Charles De Ketelaere
The 21-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Elland Road in the summer window. It was clear that he was high on Jesse Marsch’s wish list, but unfortunately for Leeds, they couldn’t get him.
Leeds were ready to break their transfer record to sign Charles De Ketelaere
De Ketelaere was a wanted man this summer. Leeds and AC Milan battled long and hard to sign the Belgian, and it was the Serie A club who won the race in the end.
Milan signed De Ketelaere for £27 million at the start of last month (Goal), but Brugge CEO Mannaert has revealed now that Leeds offered a lot more money. The Whites apparently tabled a club-record £34 million bid to sign the talented youngster and were even willing to increase that offer, but the 21-year-old only wanted Milan.
Mannaert claimed that Brugge decided to respect De Ketelaere’s decision and accepted Milan’s bid in the end.
“It is not that De Ketelaere was not interested, but at that time his preference was for AC Milan. I never really thought we wouldn’t come to an agreement (with Milan). In the end, it turned out that we got out relatively quickly.
“At such moments, there are simply three parties. Charles understood that Milan initially offered too little. Leeds were willing to pay more, but we also respected the choice of our player.”
De Ketelaere got his dream move to Milan after weeks of negotiations, but the young Belgian hasn’t quite gotten off to the best of starts.
The 21-year-old, branded as a ‘fantastic’ player, has played nine times for the Italian champions so far in all competitions, but he’s yet to break his duck. He has just one assist to his name, and Milan, who are the defending champions, are fifth in the Serie A table at the moment.
It will be interesting to see how De Ketelaere will fare in Milan in the coming months. He’s still very young and there’s still a lot of time for him to develop and fulfil his massive potential.
Leeds clearly tried very hard to get De Ketelaere, and although they couldn’t get him, Whites fans should be excited about the fact that their club were willing to splash the big bucks.
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