Transfers

Tottenham join race for Brugge starlet Charles De Ketelaere

Tom Gott
De Ketelaere is attracting real interest
De Ketelaere is attracting real interest / BRUNO FAHY/GettyImages
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Tottenham are the latest side to be linked with a move for 20-year-old Club Brugge forward Charles De Ketelaere.

The Belgian has long been touted as a future superstar since his breakthrough at Brugge in 2019, but he has taken his game to a new level this season and has already set a new season-high goals tally, bagging five in his first 14 outings this year.

The list of suitors for De Ketelaere is a lengthy one. In England, he has been watched by Manchester City, Everton and West Ham, while Italian giants Napoli and AC Milan are both plotting moves for the 6'3 forward.

Calciomercato, who have been responsible for the majority of those links, have now added Tottenham to the mix, with new boss Antonio Conte believed to be contemplating a January move for De Ketelaere.

Known as 'King Charles' in Belgium, De Ketelaere is incredibly highly rated in his homeland, despite the fact he is yet to figure out his best position. He is primarily a striker but can regularly be found in midfield or on either wing, with his managers keen to make the most out of his keen eye for a pass as well as a goal - which perhaps explains why he has more assists (14) than goals (12) for Brugge in his 90 games.

The problem for Spurs, or any other of De Ketelaere's suitors, is that Brugge are in absolutely no rush to sell their top star and are prepared to demand a Belgian record to let him go.

Voetbal Krant believe Brugge are looking at around the €40m (£34m) mark, which would eclipse the €32m Lille paid to sign Jonathan David from Gent in 2020.

A January transfer is believed to be off the table already, unless whichever side picks De Ketelaere up agrees to loan him back to Belgium for the remainder of the season.

“He can turn and respond perfectly – that is his great quality,” Belgium boss Roberto Martinez told HLN about the forward earlier this month. “De Ketelaere is technically strong. Someone who can keep up with the ball and play forward.

“But we shouldn’t worry about his position. Charles is a complete player. He should be given a more central role in our setup. In places where he can provide assists.”

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