Report: 21-year-old now left out of friendly match, after Leeds launch bid to sign him
Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Report: 21-year-old now left out of friendly match, after Leeds launch bid to sign him

According to Belgian outlet HLN, Leeds United target Charles de Ketelaere requested to sit out Club Brugge’s opening league match of the season amid ongoing speculation over his future.

HLN report that Leeds have already offered Club Brugge £34.1m for the young attacker, and an agreement with his preferred club AC Milan is still a long way off, with the Italian club considering several alternatives such as Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech.

Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Club Brugge manager Carl Hoefkens left De Ketelaere on the bench for his side’s Belgian Super Cup win last weekend, and thought the interest in the 21-year-old was too much to warrant including him in their 3-2 win over Genk on Sunday.

“I do everything for Charles, who is still one of my players. But it’s all a bit much for him. And that’s why he wasn’t in the selection.” Hoefkens told HLN.

Leeds ready to break transfer record for De Ketelaere

It’s already been a busy summer for Leeds with six new players arriving at Elland Road, and two of their biggest stars in Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha leaving the club.

Jesse Marsch’s focus has been on recruiting exciting young talent from across Europe and De Ketelaere would fit in perfectly alongside their other attacking signings.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Current club record signing Brenden Aaronson and Luis Sinisterra will be aiming to replace Raphinha’s attacking output and provide plenty of chances for Patrick Bamford, who has started putting last season’s injury troubles behind him and featured in every pre-season game so far.

However, De Ketelaere offers Marsch an alternative to Bamford up front, having scored 14 league goals last season, but is also capable of playing in a more supportive role, and could be seen as an upgrade on Rodrigo or Dan James in Leeds’ set-up.

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