Leeds: £27m star's signing would be 'signal of intent' at Elland Road

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch clapping

Leeds United will show ‘a real signal of intent’ if they succeed in tempting Charles de Ketelaere to Elland Road, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Club Brugge star has worked his way onto the Whites’ radar as Jesse Marsch, who was appointed as the Yorkshire giants’ head coach in February, continues to put his own stamp on the squad he inherited from Marcelo Bielsa.

GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict
GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict

What’s the latest news involving de Ketelaere?

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano first revealed Leeds’ interest in de Ketelaere by suggesting he was being monitored as a potential replacement for Raphinha.

It is understood that the Premier League side see the 21-year-old as a potential option in the secondary striker role or as a false nine, but they are facing competition from Serie A title holders AC Milan.

However, Leeds appear to have suffered an early setback in their pursuit of the eight-cap Belgium international and they will have to work hard to convince him to head for Elland Road.

That is because, according to RTL Sport, de Ketelaere has already suggested that he is not interested in joining the Whites before the transfer window slams shut on September 1.

It is thought that de Ketelaere’s admirers, which also includes Leeds’ domestic rivals Leicester City, will have to fork out £34.5million in order to get their man.

What has Pete O’Rourke said about de Ketelaere?

O’Rourke believes Leeds would show they mean business if they succeed in convincing de Ketelaere to link-up with Marsch’s charges.

However, the journalist has doubts as to whether the Belgian will be on the Elland Road books by the time the upcoming season gets underway.

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O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “I think he’d be a really astute signing by Leeds, if they were to get him.

“De Ketelaere has been a highly-rated young player for a while now in Belgium and he is a full Belgium international as well.

“Some bigger clubs than Leeds have been linked with him so, if they were able to go and win the race for his signature, I think that would be a real signal of intent that Leeds are planning to strengthen their squad and sign the best young players around.”

What could de Ketelaere offer Leeds?

Leeds avoided relegation to the Championship by a three-point margin in May, with the bottom three and Wolverhampton Wanderers being the only Premier League sides to score less than the Whites.

With that in mind, Marsch needs to inject more firepower and creativity into his squad, and de Ketelaere offers that in spades as he has already racked up 45 goals and assists during the early stages of his senior club career.

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The 2021/22 campaign was memorable for the the £27million-rated Club Brugge man, with him finding the back of the net 18 times, so he is sure to be full of confidence heading into the upcoming season.

He is not afraid to contribute on the less attractive side of the game either, with statistics showing he featured in the 95th and 91st percentiles for pressures and tackles among forwards last term.

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