Photo by Joris Verwijst/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Premier League rivals West Ham United and Everton will have to pay a Belgian record fee of more than £22 million if they’re to lure Charles De Ketelaere from Club Brugge, former Jupiler League striker Mo Messoudi has told Gazet van Antwerpen. 

As if Club Brugge didn’t have enough to worry about with Arsenal reportedly planning a £25 million January bid for their Dutch talisman Noa Lang. 

De Ketelaere has arguably outshone the more high-profile Lang during the first few months of the new season and, if the reigning Jupiler League champions hoped to keep the 20-year-old’s development under wraps, it seems they’ll be disappointed. 

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According to Calciomercato, West Ham and Everton have joined Serie A giants AC Milan and Napoli in the race for De Ketelaere’s signature after he added to his growing reputation with a well-taken finish against Italy in the Nations League third-place play-off on Sunday, leaving Gigi Donnarumma look silly via an ingenious nutmeg. 

That was his fifth of the season already for club and country – one more than Lang. 

Photo by Joris Verwijst/BSR Agency/Getty Images

West Ham and Everton eye Charles De Ketelaere

“Club Brugge used him smartly last season and he did not burn out. They allowed him to rest at the right time and put him on the bench. Now, De Ketelaere is reaping the benefits,” says Messoudi, who believes the stylish Belgium international will soon succeed Jeremy Doku as the most expensive export in Jupiler League history.

“As an attacking all-rounder, he’s even (Club Brugge’s) top scorer. 

“For me, De Ketelaere is the most valuable player in Belgium at the moment. I am sure he will break the outgoing transfer record set by Jeremy Doku.” 

Rennes paid £22 million for Doku, a long-standing Liverpool target, in summer 2020. 

Photo by Angelo Blankespoor/Soccrates/Getty Images

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