Aston Villa ‘close to valuation’ after initial bid for Everton and Crystal Palace target

The latest Premier League transfer news as Aston Villa lodge a bid for a forward wanted by Everton and Crystal Palace.
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Aston Villa have reportedly had a first bid rejected for AC Milan forward Charles De Ketelaere as Unai Emery continues his search for a versatile attacker.

Once thought of as one of the most exciting youngsters in Europe, De Ketelaere made a sensational £30.3 million move to Milan last summer but things haven’t worked out.

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He’s still yet to score a single goal and has registered just one assist despite playing 30 times across all competitions. Most of these appearances have been off the bench but the point stands – he’s been underwhelming.

That doesn’t mean De Ketelaere’s talent has completely disappeared, however, and now Emery wants to reignite the player’s potential, according to reports in Italy.

Gazzetta dello Sport reports Villa are the only club to have made an official approach for De Ketelaere, with a bid worth €25 million (£21.4 million) lodged recently.

This initial offer has been rejected but it wasn’t far away from what Milan are looking for. It’s claimed a €28 million (£24 million) fee will be needed in order to balance Milan’s overall financial accounts.

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The Serie A giants would still be making a loss in this instance but it would be minimal compared to the valuation drop caused by the player’s poor form over the last 12 months.

Although no team has joined Villa in making a bid as it stands, fellow Premier League sides Everton and Crystal Palace have been widely reported to hold an interest.

De Ketelaere is up for sale this summer.De Ketelaere is up for sale this summer.
De Ketelaere is up for sale this summer.

Whether or not a move to England would benefit De Ketelaere’s career progression awaits to be seen, but what is certain is his failure to get properly off the mark in Italy.

Able to play in any attacking midfield position or in any of the front three spots, De Ketelaere would offer effective cover in a variety of areas – a real bonus.

If signed, Emery will be hoping the 22-year-old can rediscover his form of old as he scored 14 goals and registered seven assists in 33 appearances throughout 2021/22.

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