The lowdown: Top target
Journalist Dean Jones of Eurosport claimed this week the Whites are ‘ready’ to make a deal happen if possible and the player has even agreed personal terms, but Victor Orta hasn’t faced a free run at signing the 21-year-old Belgium international as Italian giants AC Milan also attempt to make a deal happen ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
In fact, it’s been the Serie A outfit who have become the main protagonist for the race for De Ketelaere recently, leaving Orta sidelined and Jesse Marsch even publicly admitting they are ‘not finished’ but a deal is unlikely.
The latest: ‘Counterattack’
Taking to Twitter, Braeckman – a journalist for Bel RTL who has covered this saga closely – claimed there is ‘optimism’ between Milan and Brugge regarding a deal but Leeds have their ‘counter-attack’ ready to sign the eight-cap ace.
He stated: “These discussions are followed very closely by LUFC , which will counterattack immediately if no agreement is reached. They are ready to ‘steal’ the player if the Milan-Bruges deal fails.”
The verdict: Be prepared
Although it’s smart to wait for any opportunity to sign a player clearly so highly coveted by Marsch, the Whites have been in danger of putting all their eggs in the basket of De Ketelaere and instead should perhaps be turning attention to alternative options as the Belgian edges towards Italy.
Hailed for his ‘remarkable’ form during 2021/22 by football writer Adam Rae Voge after directly contributing to 28 goals in 49 appearances last term, Leeds are certainly in the market for a top-class prospect who would add a whole new dimension to the attacking ranks due to his outstanding versatility.
Whilst a deal is never over the line until it’s confirmed and therefore the Yorkshire officials can remain hopeful of landing the £27million valued De Ketelaere, should there be no complications and Leeds miss out on the youngster, it’s equally imperative that Orta and co are ready to attack other targets such as Paris Saint-Germain’s Arnaud Kalimuendo or the £40m Ivan Toney.
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