Milan have announced the signing of promising attacker Charles De Ketelaere from Club Brugge.

The 21-year-old Belgium international has signed a five-year-deal with the Serie A champions and joins for a reported fee of €36million.

De Ketelaere – who scored 18 goals in all competitions last season and has won eight senior caps for Belgium since his 2020 debut – had also been strongly linked with Premier League side Leeds United.

At 19 years and 224 days old in October 2020, he became the second-youngest Belgian to score in the Champions League (behind Anthony Vanden Borre) when he netted for Brugge against Zenit St Petersburg.

De Ketelaere will wear the number 90 shirt, and joins fellow new arrivals at San Siro Divock Origi, Alessandro Florenzi and Junior Messias, with the latter two making their loan moves from last season permanent.

It is becoming increasingly likely that Chelsea striker Timo Werner will be on his way out of Stamford Bridge with reports he has been offered to Real Madrid, while Newcastle United are also investigating a possible loan.

The two new teams linked with Werner come after Bild reported recently he was willing to take a 50 per cent pay-cut to return to former club RB Leipzig, indicating the Blues are well and truly shopping him around.

The 26-year-old scored only four Premier League goals in 21 appearances last season, though also recorded four goals and two assists in his five Champions League contests.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA'S WERNER ON THE WAY OUT

Chelsea and Madrid have been in recent contact about the Spanish side's interest in 20-year-old Armando Broja – who Thomas Tuchel is said to be a fan of – though El Larguero is reporting that the London club put Werner on the table instead.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror claims Newcastle have also touched base about a potential loan deal, and the report states they are currently a more likely landing spot than his former club Leipzig.

His reported weekly wage of £270,000 per week would need to be significantly reduced to accommodate a move to either Leipzig or Newcastle, and that could be where Madrid come into the equation.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Athletic is reporting that Brighton have put their foot down on a £50million asking price for 24-year-old left-back Marc Cucurella, who Manchester City is aggressively chasing.

Newcastle have had a £40m bid for Leicester City's James Maddison rejected, with his price-tag said to be at least £50m, according to the Times.

– Sport is reporting that Barcelona still have the intention of signing Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso from Chelsea, despite the English club marking them off-limits after being beaten to the signing of Jules Kounde by Barca.

Milan have agreed to a £26.9m deal for exciting 21-year-old Club Brugge midfielder Charles de Ketelaere, according to Calciomercato.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Stoke City are in advanced discussions to secure young Man City midfielder Liam Delap on loan.

Newcastle United are planning a move for out-of-favour Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Julian Draxler, with the Germany international's price tag believed to be in the range of £25million (€29.5m).

Draxler, 28, has spent the past six seasons with the French giants, but his last campaign was mostly from a bench role, with 13 of his 18 Ligue 1 appearances coming as a substitute.

He also had two separate injuries that forced him to miss over a month each time, but with 58 senior caps for Germany and a World Cup right around the corner, he could be a savvy purchase for a club desperate for a marquee signing.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE ENQUIRE ABOUT VERY AVAILABLE DRAXLER

According to French publication Le 10 Sport, Draxler is on Paris Saint-Germain director of football Luis Campos' "blacklist" of players who have no future at the club.

The report says he has been asked to find a way out, and with a relatively low price tag – around half the £40m demanded by Lyon in Newcastle's reported pursuit of Lucas Paqueta – the stars could be aligning for the Magpies to land an established international on a cheaper deal.

Draxler was left out of PSG's pre-season squad for the recent tour of Japan, indicating he already has one foot out the door, but it remains to be seen if Newcastle will be his landing spot.

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Chelsea are reportedly willing to part ways with Timo Werner, with Foot Mercato claiming the forward was included in an offer to former club RB Leipzig  in exchange for defender Nordi Mukiele, who appears to be PSG-bound.

– Sport believes Chelsea will block Barcelona moves for Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso due to the Spanish club's chase of Blues target Jules Kounde.

– The Guardian is reporting that Gianluca Scamacca will have his medical this week before confirming a £35.5m move from Sassuolo to West Ham.

– According to Calciomercato, Milan have increased their bid for Club Brugge midfielder Charles de Ketelaere to €32m, and are also trying to secure a move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech.

Barcelona have told Memphis Depay to find a new club after Robert Lewandowski's arrival, according to AS.

Charles De Ketelaere appears to be on the brink of a move to Milan, and Club Brugge team-mate Hans Vanaken revealed the Belgian champions' squad are resigned to his departure.

Milan are in the market for attacking reinforcements after winning their first Serie A title since 2010-11 last season, and Brugge star De Ketelaere has emerged as a target after scoring 18 goals in all competitions last term.

The Rossoneri's sporting director Paolo Maldini revealed he was confident of striking a deal for the 21-year-old after travelling to Belgium for talks this week, despite Brugge coach Carl Hoefkens insisting De Ketelaere would only be permitted to leave "at the right time".

De Ketelaere's team-mate Vanaken has revealed the Brugge players are resigned to losing the Belgium international, who he believes has the quality to star in Serie A.

"Against Milan in the Champions League could be a nice reunion," Vanaken told Belgian newspaper HLN.

"I haven't seen Paolo Maldini here this week, no. But we all read it too. There are no secrets.

"We all know that Milan will go to any lengths to get Charles. We're not swinging all those La Gazzetta dello Sport covers here, but we do speak some Italian to him sometimes.

"Charles is a super talent who has grown enormously here in three years. He has shown that he is ready to take the step."

However, De Ketelaere may not have made his final Brugge appearance after Hoefkens confirmed he is available for their season opener against Genk on Sunday.

"For me, he is still part of club. He is also available for Sunday," Hoefkens said of the attacking midfielder. "This is not easy for him, he has never experienced anything like it.

"It's something special, we're trying to understand it as best we can."

Milan will hope to have De Ketelaere on board when they begin their Serie A title defence against Udinese on August 13.

Milan are confident of concluding a deal to sign promising Club Brugge forward Charles de Ketelaere, according to technical director Paolo Maldini.

Stefano Pioli's men are in the market for attacking reinforcements after winning their first Serie A title since 2010-11 last season, with Brugge duo Noa Lang and De Ketelaere both reported targets.

De Ketelaere, who scored 18 goals in all competitions last season and has won eight senior caps for Belgium since his 2020 debut, has been strongly linked to both the Rossoneri and Premier League side Leeds United.

Earlier this month, Brugge head coach Carl Hoefkens insisted the forward would only be allowed to leave "at the right time".

But Milan appear to be closing in on the 21-year-old's signature after Maldini joined Rossoneri director of football Frederic Massara in Belgium for negotiations, after which the legendary defender expressed his confidence a deal would be done.

Asked how talks were progressing by Tuttomercato, Maldini responded: "Good. There is confidence."

Pioli's men could be set to make two additions to their squad after Lille president Oliver Letang revealed midfielder Renato Sanches was likely to depart for either Milan or Paris Saint-Germain.

After last season's disappointing Champions League exit at the hands of Villarreal, Bayern Munich are on the verge of transforming their team in one transfer window.

Sadio Mane and Ryan Gravenberch are potentially transformative signings for Bayern, and they apparently are not done just yet.

According to reports, Gravenberch's international team-mate is doing to what he can to force a move to Sabener Strasse.

 

TOP STORY – DE LIGT BAYERN'S TOP TARGET

Bayern Munich are reportedly edging closer to securing the signature of wantaway Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt, according to Bild.

De Ligt is reportedly willing to lower his wage demands in order to help force through a move, after a gap in expectations between the two clubs over the initial offer.

Bayern's proposal to the Bianconeri was reportedly €70million with an extra €10m in bonuses, with the latter looking at €80m as a base to any package.

De Ligt's move to lower wage expectations gives the reigning Bundesliga champions added leverage over Juventus, who after Paulo Dybala's departure, would not want to see another star run down their contract.

 

ROUND-UP

– Chelsea are now targeting PSG centre-back Presnel Kimpembe after almost securing Kalidou Koulibaly's signature, The Guardian reports.

– Meanwhile, Mason Mount is seeking to begin negotiations with the Blues over a new long-term deal, per The Athletic

– Ousmane Dembele is set to sign a new two-year contract with Barcelona after his previous deal expired, Sport is reporting.

– Charles de Ketelaere prefers a move to Milan despite interest from Leeds United for the Club Brugge striker, according to Fabrizio Romano.

 

Club Brugge head coach Carl Hoefkens hopes Milan targets Noa Lang and Charles De Ketelaere will stay with the Belgian champions, but acknowledges transfers for the duo will be arranged "at the right time".

Stefano Pioli's Milan have been strongly linked with both young attackers after they helped Brugge win the 18th league title in their history last season, while Premier League sides Arsenal and Leeds United are reportedly interested in one or both.

Belgium forward De Ketelaere scored 18 goals in all competitions during the 2021-22 season, while Netherlands international Lang added nine goals from out wide.

Both youngsters also featured in every one of Brugge's six Champions League outings last term, while Lang recently declared he wants to "take the next step" amid reports of the Rossoneri's interest.

Hoefkens, who played in the Premier League for West Bromwich Albion before moving into coaching, believes the pair are well-placed to earn their big moves in the future. 

Asked what he told the two players in discussions about their futures, Hoefkens said: "I'd prefer you to stay.

"I try to talk to them casually, I want to know what's going on in their heads. But in my opinion, they are in a position of luxury. 

"They are both incredibly loved and highly regarded here. As a club we will work on a transfer at the right time, but until then they just have to prepare as well as possible, for us or for their new team."

Chelsea are looking to swoop in and scoop up Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who has been Manchester United's primary midfield target since the appointment of new boss Erik ten Hag.

De Jong, 25, has 44 international caps for the Netherlands, and has spent the past three seasons with the Spanish giants.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been adamant the club does not want to part ways with the star they paid €75million for back in 2019, but the club's financial position may force their hand.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA LOOK TO STEAL UNITED TARGET WITH CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ALLURE

De Jong is reportedly been hesitant about a move to United due to the fact that they could not offer Champions League football, and that is where Chelsea will have their advantage in negotiations.

The Metro is reporting the Stamford Bridge club are preparing an offer that will include both players and cash, with €60million as well as Spanish duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso said to be on the table.

The elephant in the room regarding a De Jong move is that Barcelona reportedly owe the Dutchman £17m in deferred wages, and the Daily Mail claims he wants the balance fully paid before he signs off on any transfer.

 

ROUND-UP

United have been told they will need to pay £106m in order to secure the signings of Ajax duo Lisandro Martinez and Antony, according to the Daily Record.

– According to i Sport, Chelsea are working on a new contract extension for Reece James, despite three years still remaining on his current deal, in an effort to fend off interest from Manchester City and Real Madrid.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Wolves will send 19-year-old Fabio Silva on a season-long loan to Anderlecht after purchasing him for £35m two years ago.

– The Mirror claims Leeds United are preparing a club-record offer of £32m for 21-year-old Club Brugge midfielder Charles De Ketelaere, who already has eight senior international caps for Belgium.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, the likely departure of Raheem Sterling has put City in a position to offer Riyad Mahrez a contract extension.

Although Cristiano Ronaldo's affection for Manchester United is without doubt, his return to Old Trafford has not gone as he might have planned.

Following Erik ten Hag's arrival, Ronaldo's reported concern over United's apparent lack of transfer activity has made other clubs explore possibilities to sign him.

Reports suggest that a couple of clubs have already made their interest indirectly known.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA, ROMA CIRCLING FOR RONALDO

Chelsea and Roma have expressed their interest in signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, according to reports.

The Athletic has reported Chelsea, with Todd Boehly installing himself as interim sporting director after his consortium's takeover of the club, met with Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes to discuss the possibility of his transfer.

Ronaldo has a year left on his contract, and the possibility of him leaving after only one season has grown with Erik ten Hag's arrival.

Meanwhile, Retesport are reporting the Giallorossi are keen to sign the 37-year-old, with the Friedkin group looking to reunite him with former boss Jose Mourinho and build on the team's Conference League triumph.

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– In the background, United are increasingly confident they will be able to land Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong for a fee of £69million (€80.2m), Goal reports.

– Also, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has made contact with Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling, according to the Telegraph.

– Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have opened talks over a deal for Neymar amid Chelsea's interest, per AS.

– Leeds United are preparing a £26million (€30.2m) bid for Club Brugge's Charles de Ketelaere, the Daily Mail reports.

Club Brugge star Noa Lang suggested he is unaware of Milan transfer advances, but would be open to a move "to take the next step" amid reported interest from Arsenal as well.

Lang scored seven goals in 37 Belgian Pro League appearances in the 2021-22 campaign as Brugge lifted their 18th league title in history and third in a row.

The 22-year-old also appeared in all six of Brugge's Champions League outings, though the Belgian side won just one in a tough group with Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.

Featuring in Europe only served to further the value of Lang, who is said to have long been a target of Arsenal, along with Premier League side Leeds United.

Reports in Italy indicated Serie A winners Milan are also interested in the forward, but he assures no agreement has been reached with Stefano Pioli's side.

"There is no agreement with AC Milan or anything. I don't know where this kind of news comes from," Lang told Belgian newspaper HLN.

"If I have to report to Club Brugge again, I will do so with all my love. I love the club and will give the full 100 per cent."

The Netherlands international expressed his desire to move on from the Belgian Pro League, though, as he looks to impress Louis van Gaal ahead of the World Cup later this year.

"The agreement with Brugge is that it must come to a transfer, both parties agree on that. I want to continue to develop and so I have to take a step," he added.

"But I'm not afraid of that, I have to keep developing myself. If I go to a bigger club, I will probably become a better footballer. Then I train and play with a higher intensity. I only see benefits towards the World Cup.

However, Lang believes the thinking behind Van Gaal's selection has changed, with the Netherlands coach open to picking players who may not always be playing for their club.

"The national coach has abandoned his vision, as he says himself," he continued. 

"But then again: if I go to another club, I also want to play a lot. I have to enforce that myself. Whether it is at the top or just below."

Alfred Schreuder will take over from Manchester United-bound Erik ten Hag as Ajax head coach.

Ten Hag will head to Old Trafford at the end of the season, having seen his Ajax team wrap up the Eredivisie title on Wednesday with a 5-0 rout of Heerenveen.

Ajax on Thursday confirmed Ten Hag's replacement, announcing they have reached an agreement with Club Brugge boss Schreuder.

The 49-year-old, who served as Ten Hag's assistant in 2018-19, when Ajax reached the Champions League semi-finals, has signed a two-year deal with an option for a third.

Schreuder only joined Belgian side Brugge in January, and is hoping to lead them to glory in the play-offs for the Belgian championship.

 

He coached Hoffenheim in 2019-20, though left in June of that season and linked up with Ronald Koeman at Barcelona, acting as assistant to the former Netherlands boss, who will take charge of the Dutch giants once again following the World Cup later this year.

"Becoming head coach at Ajax is an honour and a great opportunity, that I will grab with both hands," Schreuder said.

"I'm also excited to return here, because I enjoyed the one and a half years I've worked at Ajax very much. I wish to win prizes here in Amsterdam, with a team that plays attractive football. With a good balance between experienced top players and very big talents.

"But first I want to end the season with Club Brugge successfully. I want to say goodbye with a title, that is very important to me and I will do my absolute best to accomplish that."

Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar added: "We know Alfred as a tactically strong trainer with good and versatile exercise material. These last years he has gained experience as a head coach and as assistant coach at top clubs in various countries and competitions."

Karim Benzema leads the LaLiga scoring charts this term with 17 goals.

But Real Madrid are set to revamp their attacking options if transfer speculation is true.

Benzema turned 34 in December and is contracted until 2023.

TOP STORY – BENZEMA CONCERN ON MADRID FUTURE

Madrid top scorer Benzema has requested a meeting with president Florentino Perez over concerns on his future with Erling Haaland's potential addition, reports Onze.

Los Blancos are set to be bolstered by forwardKylian Mbappe's arrival in the off-season to form an attacking trio alongside Benzema and Vinicius Junior.

But Haaland's potential move from Borussia Dortmund has left Benzema fearing he may lose his spot.

ROUND-UP 

- Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is being lined up by Bayern Munich as their ideal replacement for Niklas Sule, claims Fichajes. Sule has confirmed his exit to Borussia Dortmund for next season.

- Juventus have a new plan ahead of fresh contract talks with Paulo Dybala, according to Calciomercato. Dybala is unsigned beyond this season.

- Manchester United and Brazilian giants Flamengo have agreed to a £12m fee for the permanent sale of Andreas Pereira, reports Universo.

- Atletico Madrid, who are looking to replace the departed Kieran Trippier, are set to make a €30m offer for Aston Villa full-back Matty Cash, claims Mundo Deportivo.

- Calciomercato reports that Milan still have an eye on Club Brugge's Dutch talent Noa Lang.

Vincent Kompany said he was “disgusted” after being racially abused during Anderlecht's 2-2 draw with Club Brugge on Sunday.

The former Manchester City captain, now manager of Anderlecht, stated after the game that players and coaches were verbally abused throughout.

"I go home disgusted and disappointed. My players, my staff and I were victims of racist insults," the 35-year-old told broadcaster Eleven Sports.

"I want to get together with my staff, to be with the people who matter to me. We should not still have to experience this today."

Club Brugge, who were in the same Champions League group as Manchester City this season, released a statement after the game condemning the actions of their fans, saying: "Club Brugge, its fans, staff, players and board, strongly condemn any form of racism.

"These individuals are not representative of the values and norms of our club, and do not have their place at Jan Breydel Stadium."

On Monday, Club Brugge said the club would do all they can to identify those responsible and seek to impose stadium bans.

Kompany won two Belgian league titles as a player at Anderlecht before going on to win four Premier League titles with City, as well as two FA Cups and four EFL Cups during his time at the Etihad Stadium, before heading back to Anderlecht as player-coach in 2019. He retired from playing in 2020 to focus on managerial duties.

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku posted support for his former Belgium team-mate on Instagram, and demanded a firm response from the football authorities.

"An icon like Vincent Kompany has been insulted because of his skin colour," Lukaku wrote. "Enough is enough ... take real action now."F

Kylian Mbappe said Paris Saint-Germain are "going to need Lionel Messi" as the Frenchman revealed why he gave up a chance to compete a hat-trick from the penalty spot in the 4-1 victory over Club Brugge.

Mbappe struck twice inside the opening seven minutes before setting up Messi's first goal in a scintillating first-half performance.

Despite being on a hat-trick, the 22-year-old was not the man to step up to the spot when a penalty was awarded to PSG in the second half, with Messi grabbing his second goal of the game instead.

Mbappe explained that it was more important for Messi, whose start to life in France has been mixed, to build form and confidence than it was for him to take home the match ball.

"We are going to need Lionel Messi," Mbappe said after the game. "He remains Lionel Messi. We are going to need him during the season, and I am sure he will help us when the important [games] arrive.

"He has to arrive with confidence for these matches. It is good for him that he finishes with two goals, but it is also good for us for the future."

Mbappe insisted he was more concerned with the wider welfare of the team than his own individual goals and praised his colleagues for their part in his strong showings this term. He has 11 goals and 12 assists in 22 appearances across all competitions so far.

"I'm trying to help the team," Mbappe told RMC Sport. "It's not my goal to show who the boss is. I try to help the team, and my team-mates give it back to me so that I perform well too."

PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino gave the penalty decision his blessing, waxing lyrical about the blossoming relationships among his set of superstar players.

Pochettino said: "I'm happy that Leo and Kylian scored two goals, they are attacking players who need to know the way to the net.

"They can all take the penalty, with their quality. It is up to them to identify, at the moment, who needs it most, who is the most confident. This is something they decide for themselves on the pitch.

"You can say Leo, Kylian, Ney [Neymar], Angel [Di Maria], Marquinhos, Verratti. They can all take a penalty, but in the moment it's a matter of trust and taking responsibility.

"I believe that creating these relationships, the way they get closer, appreciate each other, respect each other, gives even more strength to their talent. But all these things take time. The seed is planted, the buds come out and in time there will be a plant, a tree and beautiful flowers."

Kylian Mbappe produced a magnificent individual display as he and Lionel Messi both scored twice to steer Paris Saint-Germain to a crushing 4-1 win over Club Brugge at the Parc des Princes.

The 22-year-old Mbappe netted the opener with less than two minutes played before adding to his tally with a thumping volley just five minutes later as PSG came out of the blocks flying.

Mbappe added an assist later in the first half, nutmegging his marker on the left flank before switching the play to Messi in the centre and the Ballon d'Or winner lashed home from the edge of the box.

The visitors scored a consolation through Mats Rits in the 68th minute, but PSG regained their three-goal advantage just eight minutes after conceding as Messi rifled home a penalty.

PSG wasted no time in opening the scoring, with Mbappe curling in off the right post after Simon Mignolet failed to deal with Nuno Mendes' left-wing cross, parrying it back into a dangerous area.

Mbappe struck again in just the seventh minute with an emphatic volley after a delightful dink over the Club Brugge defence by Angel Di Maria.

The French striker turned provider in the 38th minute, bursting away down the wing before finding Messi, who curled a fantastic strike inside the left post from just outside the area to make it a 3-0 lead.

Club Brugge pulled one back midway through the second half as Noa Lang darted into space from the left and squared to Rits, who curled a low effort into the bottom-left corner despite a touch from Gianluigi Donnarumma.

However, Messi drew a foul from substitute Ignace Van der Brempt in the area and stepped up to drill a superb penalty into the bottom-right corner that left Mignolet rooted to the spot and rounded off the scoring.

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