21-year-old Club Brugge sensation Charles De Ketelaere is quickly becoming a hot transfer prospect for a number of top European clubs, Newcastle United and Leicester City.
Italian giants Milan are ones to have long been linked to the Belgian forward, who has lit up the nation’s Pro League with his stupendous performances at the top level. He has 17 goals and 9 assists in 41 appearances for the Bruges based club this season.
Although his contract expires in the summer of 2024, clubs across Europe’s top leagues are already lining up for the versatile attacker, who is capable of functioning as a center-forward and also deep on the flanks.
La Gazzetta dello Sport have already pointed out De Ketelaere as the ‘next Kevin De Bruyne’ that Milan are interested in developing. Club Brugge have established an asking price around the €35m mark that interested teams will have to part ways with in order to sign the class of 2001.
Apart from the Rossoneri, Leicester City have emerged as suitors in pole position for the youngster. The Foxes reportedly have a scout dedicated to covering players in France and Belgium – Phillipe Pelluault – who has been instrumental in pushing the Leicester City management to act fast, in order to beat competition.
Premier League sides Chelsea, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are all keeping close tabs on developments in Belgium.
He recently spoke to Belgian outlet Het Laaste Nieuws regarding his future, strengthening links to a Premier League move in the future.
“A transfer is not necessarily this summer, even though I feel ready for a new adventure. If it (a transfer) can be done now, why not? The Premier League is the highest you can go. That intensity too. In England, you become a better player.” (via Leicester Mercury)
However, it is the emergence of Napoli as suitors that will take Milan by surprise. According to Il Mattino, the Partenopei will try their best to secure De Ketelaere’s services as a successor to either Lorenzo Insigne or Dries Mertens, who is also set to leave the south of Italy due to an expiring contract.
One thing is for sure, the 21-year-old will most probably experience professional life outside Belgium for the first time in 2022/23.
He has 25 goals in 112 caps for Club Brugge in his three seasons since making his senior debut.