€25m Club Brugge wonderkid De Ketelaere dreams of playing abroad following AC Milan & Lazio links

Charles De Ketelaere Club Brugge 2020-21Getty Images

Club Brugge midfielder Charles De Ketelaere has admitted that he harbours an ambition to test himself abroad amid interest from Serie A giants AC Milan and Lazio.

The teenage prodigy enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Pro League outfit last term, and has carried his form across into the current campaign, earning his first senior cap for Belgium in November last year.

De Ketelaere, reportedly valued at €25 million (£22m/$30m), is contracted through to June 2023 with Brugge, and says that he is not in a hurry to leave the club - but has acknowledged that he would love to play outside of his homeland in the future.

What has De Ketelaere said?

"Honestly, I do dream of an adventure abroad, but I don't have to right now," the 19-year-old told Krant van West-Vlaanderen .

"I will always make a healthy choice. Only sporting ambitions count. You always want to improve.

"There is no concrete career plan. A few foreign clubs were interested, but if I say that I want to stay at Club Brugge for another three years I would be very happy with that."

What has he achieved so far?

De Ketelaere, who has already notched up 50 games for his club, very much remains one of Brugge's biggest prospects and could further emerge as a key matchwinner for the club as they look to take further steps in Europe.

Last year, he finished fifth in the voting for the Belgian Golden Shoe, awarded to the country's best player, while he was also named Best Youngster, following in the footsteps of Thorgan Hazard and Youri Tielemans.

His first senior cap, handed to him by Robert Martinez in November, saw him make the leap from the youth system to the first team, placing him in consideration for this year's Euro 2020 squad.

The bigger picture

Though they sit 13 points ahead of second-place Royal Antwerp in the Pro League, Brugge are competing in their third consecutive Europa League round-of-32, following a Champions League group-stage exit.

De Ketelaere, who has started 15 of their 26 league fixtures this season, has already carved out a reputation as a key passer amid the senior faces of his squad and Brugge would surely hope that he remains with them for the near future.

But with a price tag that may prove tempting for some, including Milan, Lazio and fellow Serie A side Atalanta, they could face a fight to keep him at the club - especially if he makes the cut for Belgium at Euro 2020, which would likely put him in the shop window.

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