Athletic: De Ketelaere to Milan close – why they chose him over Dybala and the role foreseen

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan are closing in on the signing of Charles De Ketelaere despite the interest from Leeds United, according to a report.

The Athletic are reporting that Leeds expressed a concrete interest in signing the 21-year-old forward, but it seems the Rossoneri are ‘now favourites to complete the transfer’ as ‘senior Milan figures optimistic of success’.

Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara are flying to Belgium today for negotiations with Club Brugge directly so they can iron out any final issues, but the belief is that the Belgium international will become Milan’s fourth signing of the summer after Divock Origi plus the permanent deals for Alessandro Florenzi and Junior Messias.

In terms of his role, Milan see him as a player who would upgrade the right wing and attacking midfielder positions in one swoop. Milan also considered Paulo Dybala as an option – who has just joined Roma today – but decided that De Ketelaere was ‘better fit with the philosophy of signing young talent with major potential’.

De Ketelaere racked up 18 goals in 49 appearances for Brugge last season, adding 10 assists, and Stefano Pioli – who prefers a 4-2-3-1 – would certainly welcome a player who has played in every position across the front line for his current club.

Tags AC Milan Charles De Ketelaere


  1. This guy is over hyped, there is no way this guy is worth 35m, we coúkd have used this money for Dybala and naolang….this guy’s is over hyped, He is not even the best player of his team, there is no way this guy is better than lang…..dúdé is just a normal dude that should be bought for 10m or 15m, he is not even influential as slamaekers was in belgium league, club brugge just used Leeds to take off money from us, none of the big dogs want him except leeds, that says alot……..this is a mistake, we can not buy a talent in club brugge for 35m, it is insane, not minding we already have Diaz and Adli for AMF, are we expecting to play him at RW, dude is 1,93 and slow…….35m for this dude is a mistake

    1. I think if CDK arrive, Adli will be 4th pivot & we will cancelled out Renato Sanches. Adli was a pivot at France-side past season.

      And Maldini might still believe Messias Jr & Saelemaekers for RW. Because Messias Jr had so much more confident at his old club than in ACM, Messias might just need to find his confidence & self-believe.
      And Saelemaekers struggle a lot because no AMC that can distribute key passes for him. Because Saelemaekers’s strong point is his smart movements to find spaces or making spaces for others to exploit.

    2. I’m from Belgium and Saelemaekers was nothing more than a young prospect at Anderlecht. He wasn’t even a regular first team player when Milan bought him. So your info is very wrong. CDK is performing very well at Club Brugge and is a firm contributor to the latest league titles. He has also been played in different positions, it does not matter to him, he is just a very good player with a lot of improvement margins given his young age. I really hope we get him!

    3. “not even influential as Saelemaekers was in the Belgian league” LMAO mate do some research then talk. In Sale’s last full season in the Jupiler league he was 20 and got 6 assists, no goals while De Ketelaere turned 21 last march and he got almost 30 G/A this season. Come on man atleast do a bit of research instead of speaking rubbish

    4. You are joking, right? This guy is f robot.
      He is intellegent, technical, young, has a lot of and, calm, and ambitious. He literally has the best package of physique, technique, and attitude a football player could have.
      His on-pitch attitude reminds me of Modric or Kroos, he is future ballon d’or candidate

    5. Problem is that Noa Lang plays same position as Leao & Rebic. He is right-footed so would not work on the right wing either. Good player, but we are covered in his position already…

  2. Nah no offense but I don’t get what you guys are on about, De Ketelaere is a great player, I understand that you’re tired of the saga tho

    1. Mate go support another club if you want Milan to outbid other European giants for players like Nkunku. We don’t have that financial power, just because a player isn’t under the radar of European giants doesn’t mean they’re bad. Was Leão at Lille under the radar of any huge teams, oh and was Theo under the radar of huge teams and same for Tomori. Just be patient and let M&M do their work

      1. Settle down guy. I fully trust in M&M and I’ve been supporting Milan since the 90s when you were probably popping out your mum. I was just agreeing that it must mean something if literally no big clubs have him on their radar. I’m not suggesting they break the bank either. On the contrary I appreciate that we actually negotiate for players rather than just pony up whatever is being asked.

        1. Ok apologies for being a bit rude then. I thought you meant something else. But just because a player isn’t on the radar of European giants doesn’t mean they’re bad. Most European big clubs are too stupid to invest in a player before they explode but instead when they do explode thats when they start throwing all their money at the club that player plays for

          1. I’m not saying he’s bad! Just that he’s far from a sure thing! This is why I appreciate the M&M. They have a valuation in mind and they’ll either get the player that cost or go elsewhere. It’s good business. Sorry for sniping back. Same team.

      2. We bought Tomori from Chelsea and Theo from Real Madrid, so yea I’d say they were on some big clubs radars. Here’s a suggestion. Think before you speak.

        1. Big mouth you got there for all your stupidity, just because they were at big clubs doesn’t mean other big clubs were interested in them lmao. Suggestion back to you, think before you type this rubbish:)

          1. It’s ok btw tho, for me I’m being rude but I’m trying to sort of have a debate conversation with you so apologies if in messages it looks rather aggressive 😂

          2. Hopefully there’s no hard feelings, was just trying to have a conversation with you but through comments online it’s difficult to understand exactly what you mean and if you’re trying to be aggressive or not 😂

          3. Yea we cool bro! I’m just saying Theo and Tomori were already on two of the wealthiest clubs in the world when we got them. If Milan believe in CDK, I believe too. Let’s see what happens and hopefully next chat is on the story of how we completed the signing❤️

      3. I agree with what you’re saying in trusting M&M they haven’t let us down. However CDK isn’t enough.

        I understand why we chose him over Dybala, the latter comes with high salary, and injuries. It’s very tempting to want Dybala as he is a marquee signing, and comes with a proven goal record. M&M are thinking of the then, and not the now. No point in signing both so they’ve gone with the age and potential route which has worked so well. For me the crux is whether we are now a club who buys young talent and then sells on to prem sides. That is the wrong way, Maldini wouldn’t accept that but it depends on the ownership.

        CDK is a good signing should we get it. The reason I believe the big prem clubs aren’t interested is because they can afford for him to be elsewhere d make name and then go in with silly money….they don’t need to be thinking of him just yet. Top prem aides want oven ready stars, this is why the likes of Tomori were shelved.

        The right wing need sorting, CDK isn’t the answer there, my personal choice would be Zaniolo, but Lang would be a great fit, he’s edgy and I think you need that. I also don’t get the Berardi hate, his numbers speak for themselves, if our first goal is to retain the scudetto, the amount of assists and goals that Berardi consistently gives would be a great part of that.

        I also like the idea of Adli in the Pivot, forget Sanches he can rot in Paris, Pobega, Tonali, Bennacer and Adli is a great clutch to choose from for the pivot.

        Of course finances dictate, none of us know what’s going on, what we have or don’t have, it’s pure speculation. However it will be an opportunity missed if this summers Mercato consists of CDK, Origi and Tanganga

        1. Absolutely man! I do hope we also get a RW even if it’s in the form of Ziyech or even Lang I just hope we can get a good RW because this Milan side with a good AM and RW would be very dangerous!

          1. We have a very good and very underrated striker in Giroud, if you play to his strengths he will score goals. For him to perform you need good wide players, he’s good with his head and in the 18 yard box so investing in a RW will gain us more goals. Ziyech doesn’t cut it for me, he was good for Ajax in a lesser league and although his time at Chelsea shouldn’t be the be all and end all, his age vs his game time is a concern. For me not worth the outlay… still not sure where Origi fits in..I’d prefer to play Giroud or Ibra.

        2. Fair! Whatever happens we need a RW, maybe we can purchase Lang and since they’ve expressed they’re so keen to sell him we can get him for like 15 million instead of 20! Only thing that worries me about Lang is his attitude and if he will really fit at RW since he’s naturally a LW

          1. Yeah depends on his off field attitude. Ibra has attitude, you need players with a mean streak, I think Lang is right footed (not sure) he could play RW surely… then again football has changed 🙄. Look at the likes of De Bruyne and Pirlo who switched positions and became best in class. The thing I find appealing about Lang is he makes defenders think, he’s a worry….Lang one side and Leao the other is a potentially lethal duo

    1. If you’re skeptical of him watch his match against PSG in the UCL this season, there’s a guy called futball Karim who makes highlights so if you search for De Ketelaere Vs PSG it should pop up!

  3. I think CDK is worth the investment. However, I do not think his signing (if it ever happens) should preclude us from also signing a new RW. CDK can play RW if needed but it’s not his favored nor strongest position. He lacks top end speed for RW. He’s best at CAM. So a RW is still needed IMO as Messias/Sales is not enough quality. So a player like Ziyech even if only on loan is a must. Feel bad for M&M and Pioli who work miracles with what they have. Maybe it changes and we can sign BOTH players but it doesn’t look promising – seems it’s one position or the other. Anyways Let’s hope we can at least get CDK signed after all this time and can focus on other areas of need (DM, CB, RW and back up LB). If we don’t get CDK then we will probably use Diaz/Adli as CAM and then hope we can sign a high quality RW. It’s a shame it seems we have to pick one or the other because we have no real $$ but it is what it is with Redbird.

      1. I think it would be a good Mercato. We were clearly looking for a partner for Tomori in Botman rather than a back up and now (rightly and fairly) Kalulu seems to have the nod. When it comes to choosing defenders, I’m not going to question the best of them all…

        For me we need to defend the scudetto and be a wild card in the CL, get out the group and make some headlines.

  4. ZANIOLO 😂 I’m aware I’m very much alone in the Zaniolo camp…but he fits our profile and ours fits his. He won’t play every week at Juve, Chiesa and Di Maria will…take him on loan with an option, no initial large outlay and if he performs which I think he can…there’s a player in there….if he doesn’t the option remains. Pioli’s style will suit him rather than Jose’s, he gets the bigger stage to showcase his talents. We need to sign Italians and he wants to leave.

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