Atalanta has finally secured the signing of Charles De Ketelaere, fulfilling a long-cherished dream of club president Luca Percassi. The Belgian midfielder recently put pen to paper on a contract that will bind him to the club for one year, with the option for an additional four years in the event of redemption. This highly anticipated move has been the subject of much speculation and negotiation, making it one of the most captivating storylines of this transfer window.
The deal, valued at €3 million for the loan fee, includes an additional €26 million for the potential redemption, along with €4 million in bonuses and a percentage of any future transfer. De Ketelaere will inherit the contract he had at Milan, which was worth €2.7 million per year. Thus, the protracted saga has finally come to a close, with Atalanta reaching an agreement with Milan two weeks ago, only to be caught up in a whirlwind of counteroffers and renegotiations. However, this morning, the impasse was broken as the player underwent medical examinations at the Madonnina clinic, initially scheduled for 10 am but postponed until a later date, only to be resolved just before 11 am.
Following the customary medical tests, De Ketelaere made his way to Zingonia, where he officially signed the contract, solidifying his position as a new player for Atalanta. The official announcement is expected to follow in the coming hours. A versatile player capable of playing as an attacking midfielder, a false nine, or a second striker, it will now be up to coach Gian Piero Gasperini to find the perfect role for De Ketelaere to maximize his potential on the pitch.
This signing marks the realization of a dream for Luca Percassi, who had previously attempted to secure De Ketelaere’s services two years ago, only to be deterred by exorbitant price tags, initially set at around €30 million and later escalating to €40 million. The financial competition posed by Milan last year made it impossible for Atalanta to compete for his signature, resulting in De Ketelaere’s decision to continue his career elsewhere.
Now, after a year of anticipation, the Belgian prodigy finds himself under the ownership of Atalanta, at least for this season. This strategic move was a joint effort by both parties to address a mutual need – to resolve a predicament and reignite the career of a talented player who had become surplus to requirements in Milan.
With De Ketelaere’s arrival, Atalanta aims to inject fresh energy and creativity into their squad, bolstering their chances of success in domestic and European competitions. The club’s fans eagerly anticipate watching their new acquisition grace the pitch in the iconic black and blue jersey, eager to witness his contributions and impact on the team’s performance.
As the season unfolds, all eyes will be on De Ketelaere, as he looks to make a seamless transition into Gasperini’s system and establish himself as a key player in Atalanta’s pursuit of glory. The club’s faithful supporters eagerly await the moment when De Ketelaere’s skills and versatility will be showcased, as they hope to witness him become an integral part of the team’s attacking force.
Atalanta’s successful signing of Charles De Ketelaere not only fulfills the long-standing aspirations of the club’s president but also represents a strategic move to revitalize the squad. With the player’s arrival, Atalanta aims to strengthen their midfield options and reinforce their attacking prowess, raising the bar for their upcoming campaigns. As the season progresses, it will be fascinating to witness how De Ketelaere’s inclusion transforms Atalanta’s game and propels them towards greater achievements on the footballing stage.