Newcastle United are set to reignite their interest in summer transfer target Charles de Ketelaere as he struggles to make an impact with Serie A giants AC Milan.
The Magpies and Premier League rivals Leeds United were believed to have shown a keen interest in the Club Brugge star during the summer - but Serie A would be his destination as a £28m deal was concluded to take him to Milan.
The early months of his time in Italy have been challenging for De Ketelaere and he is yet to find the net in 15 appearances in all competitions. The main highlight came in a 2-0 home win against Bologna when the attacking midfielder set up Rafael Leao to grab his side’s first goal of the game.
Despite his underwhelming form, De Ketelaere received the backing of Milan manager Stefano Pioli after a win against Monza last month. He said: “I am here to help my players. Brahim (Diaz) is doing well because he has quality and he is proud, so does Charles and he will too. We must respect the growth and adaptation times; of course he was disappointed, but it was not easy to score that chance. Being a little down in the dumps is normal, but he has everything we expected, he has to continue as he is doing.”
However, that has not stopped Italian media suggesting De Ketelaere’s stay in Italy could be a short one with CalicoMercato reporting Newcastle are preparing a £26m bid to tempt Milan into allowing the Belgian star to move to St James Park.
Stating De Ketelaere’s ‘unconvincing’ performances as a key reason behind United’s interest, the report goes on to suggest Milan would ‘not even agree to sit down and negotiate’ and will ‘make him grow’ in Serie A.