Milan underachiever Charles De Ketelaere has been the subject of wild transfer speculation in the early summer days following a dreadful first season at San Siro. Dutch journalist Rik Elfrink reports PSV Eindhoven have earmarked the Rossoneri flop as a favorite option to replace departed Xavi Simons.
After a mesmerizing season-long stint at the Philips Stadion, the time has come for the 20-year-old to move on. Paris Saint-Germain activated a €6 million buy-back clause to bring last season’s Eredivisie joint-top goalscorer back to the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
Simons’ exit comes as a massive blow for PSV. He was the team’s leading driving force in the front third last season. Therefore, replacing him sits atop the club’s list of priorities. But it won’t be straightforward, especially considering the Dutch heavyweights operate on a tight budget.
That’s where De Ketelaere comes into action. Milan won’t stand in PSV’s way, but it’ll take some persuading. The Belgian’s arrival from Club Brugge last summer set the Rossoneri €35m. While they’d be willing to accept a slight markdown on that fee, the Italians won’t let the 22-year-old leave cheap.
PSV’s idea is to sign De Ketelaere on loan with an option to buy. Milan could be inclined to green-light such a move to give the downtrodden Belgian time and space to revive his career.
The Peasants did the same with Simons. They rescued the ex-Barcelona whizz-kid from his PSG misery and fired him to Europe’s elite. And if they can repeat that with De Ketelaere, Milan would be grateful. However, watch out for Aston Villa.
Unai Emery holds the youngster in high esteem and is willing to offer him an escape route from Milan.
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