For the past few days, the Italian media have been trying to pit Leeds United against Milan in the race to sign Charles De Ketelaere.

Of course, both clubs might very well be interested, but it’s been made clear the player would much prefer to move to Italy than the club that finished 17th in the Premier League last season.

But that wasn’t enough, so then Southampton and now Everton have been added to the mix, perhaps in a bid to put even more pressure on Milan.

There’s no denying the Toffees are in need of an attacking reinforcement following the £60m sale of Richarlison to Tottenham, and Frank Lampard has yet to receive the replacement he will be wanting.

De Ketelaere, while perhaps not as full of flair as the Brazilian, could certainly do a job, so it does make some sense for Everton to be interested.

That’s what Gazzetta dello Sport push on Friday, explaining that ‘time risks being a factor’ for Milan, because ‘other English teams’ like the Toffees ‘have made themselves heard’.

Despite the interest from Everton and others, ‘those who know De Ketelaere have a rather definite theory: if the top 5-6 Premier League teams move, they immediately become the favourites’.

If that isn’t the case, however, then ‘the first choice is Milan’.

Since Club Brugge don’t appear ‘to be in a hurry to close the deal’, there is time for others to try and work their magic, but Milan ‘are in the lead’ for now, and ‘the chances of closing at around €30-35m are good’.