Chelsea and Leicester are leading the race to sign Charles De Ketelaere, dubbed 'the next Kevin De Bruyne', according to reports.
Foot Mercato journalist Santi Aouna has confirmed that Chelsea's interest in the young Belgian is set to be matched by Leicester, with the Foxes expected to put in a bid to sign the player.
"Leicester is very interested in Charles De Ketelaere from Club Brugge," Aouna tweeted. "Scouted on numerous occasions, the Foxes should make an offer for the Belgian prodigy for next summer."
De Ketelaere is extremely highly-rated in his home country and has already played Champions League football for his club against the likes of Paris Saint-Germain. The 20-year-old – who is still living with his mother, apparently – made his senior Belgium debut as a substitute against Switzerland and even scored against Italy in the Nations League third-place play-off match in the autumn.
The youngster is enjoying a rapid rise – and is said to be extremely versatile.
Though predominantly an energetic playmaker who has been likened to De Bruyne in his ability in the final third, De Ketelaere has played out wide on either wing and up front – just like the Manchester City talisman. The 20-year-old even has potential as a left-back, too, according to reports.
And given Chelsea's extensive history with Belgian players, he may fancy becoming the latest in an illustrious line. De Bruyne himself was of course at Chelsea earlier in his career, while Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard both won titles at Stamford Bridge. Romelu Lukaku is currently enduring a sticky patch in west London but others such as Michy Batshuayi and Charly Musonda have also represented the club.
Equally, however, Leicester built themselves a Belgian contingent of their own in recent years. Youri Tielemans joined from Monaco to become one of the most sought-after midfielders in England and Timothy Castagne is a valuable squad player at club and international level – while Dennis Praet left last summer.
De Ketelaere is valued at £22.5m on Transfermarkt.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.
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