The agents of Charles De Ketelaere have revealed just how difficult the transfer saga became involving Club Brugge and AC Milan.
After undergoing his medical, signing his contract and being officially announced as a Milan player yesterday, De Ketelaere gave his first interview and had his first training session at Milanello with his new team-mates.
It was a happy end to a situation that dragged on for weeks in the end. Milan and Leeds United were the two teams locked in the transfer battle at the start but it became clear the playmaker only wanted to join Milan, and after long negotiations things eventually got done.
De Ketelaere’s representatives – Tom De Mul and Yama Sharifi – have decided to lift the lid on the intricacies of the soap opera in an interview with HLN, revealing how many clubs wanted their client and why things became so difficult.
“West Ham, Newcastle, Arsenal have all followed Charles but they never pushed through. Even Barcelona has followed him for a long time, but I didn’t think that was the right step,” De Mul began.
“Financially, Leeds would have been the best option. For Club Brugge, for Charles, for us. But Charles wanted to wait a little longer. When Charles felt that Milan were 100% serious things started to turn.
“At one point De Ketelaere said ‘I absolutely want to go to Milan.’ Then you are left with a club that has too high expectations because they received a higher offer. I told De Ketelaere ‘If you want to go to Milan, I’m behind you.’ But I also added, ‘Get ready for some rough weeks’.
“After the meeting in Belgium, the clubs no longer wanted to talk to each other. Then we went to Lugano. Two superpowers confronted each other and it became a real battle. The outside world cannot understand how difficult it has been to resolve the situation.”