Charles De Ketelaere is adamant he wants to stay at the San Siro and prove his worth to AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli.
Following a nightmarish first season in Serie A, the €28 million star has emerged as a likely candidate to make room for the new arrivals this summer.
Aware of the Italians’ desire to offload their overpaid outcast to recoup their massive investment, Aston Villa recently tested the waters with a €25m bid.
PSV Eindhoven also view the Belgium U-21 international as a suitable prospect to replace Xavi Simons after the Dutch wonderkid returned to Paris Saint-Germain.
However, De Ketelaere is poised to turn his fortunes around and remain at Milan against all the odds, according to Italian publication Tuttosport.
The Rossoneri fought tooth and nail to overcome Leeds United in the race to sign the 22-year-old forward last summer, a judgement they came to regret deeply only a year later.
De Ketelaere failed to adjust to the intensity he faced in Serie A after dominating the Belgian Pro League with Club Brugge for three years, quickly becoming a bit-part player in Pioli’s squad.
While an eye-catching tally of 40 competitive appearances in 2022/23 suggests the Belgian enjoyed plenty of first-team football, he only made nine league starts.
His relatively sparse playing time aside, De Ketelaere’s performances flattered to deceive last season, not to mention his dreadful haul of zero goals and one assist.
The recently-completed European U-21 Championship emerged as a perfect opportunity for the unsettled youngster to regain lost confidence and return to Pioli’s good grace.
But instead of taking the chance, he flopped once again, triggering mass disappointment in his home country following a string of faceless showings at the tournament.
Despite all the struggles, he is reluctant to give up on his hope of becoming a crucial player for Milan.
Perhaps the Rossoneri’s upcoming United States tour could serve as a final test of his qualities, although the club’s expectations are as low as it gets.