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Leeds United optimistic in transfer tussle with AC Milan for Charles De Ketelaere

Leeds United have received a transfer boost in their race for Club Brugge starlet Charles De Ketelaere, according to Daily Mail.

Per the report, the Whites’ £31 million offer for the 21-year-old forward could be favoured by the Belgian side after AC Milan tabled a £27m bid.

De Ketelaere has risen through the ranks to stamp his name as one of the brightest rising stars emerging out of Belgium.

The 21-year-old was a star performer in the Pro League last season, netting 14 goals and providing nine assists to help the Blauw-Zwart secure their 18th league title.

The youngster’s versatility and eye for goal has caught the eye of several clubs across Europe, with Leeds United and AC Milan particularly keen on his signature.

The Rossoneri are looking to add more depth to their squad as they prepare for a heated title defence, while the Premier League side are seeking to bring in support for star striker Patrick Bamford.

Bamford scored an impressive 17 goals in the 2020-21 Premier League campaign but was restricted to just nine league appearances last season through injury.

Leeds, who are also seeking attacking reinforcements following the departure of Raphinha, have identified De Ketelaere as a top transfer target but face stiff competition from AC Milan.

The Serie A outfit are believed to be leading the race for the Club Brugge forward, who is reportedly more interested in a move to the San Siro Stadium.

However, Leeds remain optimistic in their pursuit of the Belgian international as Stefano Pioli’s men’s £27m offer is reportedly way off Club Brugge’s valuation.

With his future at the Jan Breydel Stadium up in the air, De Ketelaere was left out of the Super Cup win over KAA Gent and the league opener against KRC Genk respectively.

Speaking on his absence, Club Brugge manager Carl Hoefkens told HLN: “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.”

Charles De Ketelaere has made 78 appearances for the Bruges outfit, scoring 18 goals and providing 11 assists since breaking into the senior team in 2019.

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