Leeds’ lack of striker signing in the summer will go down as a clear failure in the transfer window, when it was clear from the outset what was needed to get through the season.
It wasn’t as though the club weren’t actively looking for players to sign, as their ambitious planning took them to Club Brugge in an attempt to sign Charles De Ketelaere.
Leeds were in a two-way battle with AC Milan for the Belgian sensation’s signature in the summer and eventually came up short, as he opted for the Serie A champions in a reported €36million deal.
This came after confirmation from Andrea Radrizzani that Leeds has made an offer of €40million for the 21-year-old forward.
However, it was clear from very early in this speculation that Leeds stood little chance of signing him, due to his preference to move to the Italian giants over joining the Whites.
Now, Club Brugge CEO Vincent Mannaert has spoken about the lengthy transfer saga, where it seems Leeds weren’t completely out of De Ketelaere’s consideration.
Speaking on the MID MID Podcast, he stated (quoted by Voetbalkrant):
“Leeds United offered €40m for Charles. It is not that De Ketelaere was not interested, but at that time his preference was for AC Milan. I never really thought we wouldn’t come to an agreement. In the end, it turned out that we got out relatively quickly.
“At such moments, there are simply three parties. Charles understood that Milan initially offered too little. Leeds were willing to pay more, but we also respected the choice of our player.”
Do Leeds still need a striker going forward?
I would be shocked if he didn’t even entertain the notion of joining us, because it’s so clear where he would have fit into this team.
It shouldn’t be a shock to us that he opted to move to Milan instead of us, because their side is brimming with talent and has just won the league title.
For us to think we can compete at that level in the market is a tad naive, when it was obvious we needed at least someone in, and should have had a backup plan ready to go.
Let’s just hope that there is something in store for January.