Georginio Rutter: Leeds on brink of transfer as Victor Orta sweet talks Hoffenheim into accepting lower fee

Georginio Rutter, Hoffenheim during Bundesliga game v Werder Bremen Credit: Alamy
Georginio Rutter, Hoffenheim during Bundesliga game v Werder Bremen Credit: Alamy

Leeds United’s bid to bring Georginio Rutter to Elland Road is closing in – and Whites director of football Victor Orta appears to have secured his signing for a lower fee than initially expected.

The Whites are vying to add more options to their attack this winter as they bid to pull clear of the drop zone. Jesse Marsch’s side celebrated a final-day escape last season in the most dramatic of circumstances – and want to ensure they avoid going so close this time around.

As such, the club have been extremely active in addressing their problem positions and adding to their squad this month.

To that end, a deal has already been secured for Austrian defender Maximilian Wober. The former RB Salzburg man debuted in Sunday’s 2-2 FA Cup draw against Cardiff, though is equally comfortable playing at centre-half or left-back. And it most likely to operate at left-back why Leeds have brought him to Elland Road.

Indeed, he will hope to become a regular and fill the boots of Junior Firpo. His signing at Leeds has not worked out and reports on Wednesday suggest a surprise return to one of his former clubs is potentially on the cards.

The other area of concern for Leeds this window was in attack. And while record signing Rodrigo Moreno has been bang in the goals with 11 in 18 appearances, they do not have a recognised fit and firing Plan B.

To that end, their 2020/21 17-goal top scorer Patrick Bamford continues to struggle. He is now 13 months without a senior goal, having been troubled by a series of injuries. Having made just four starts in all competitions this season, he is now back in training.

Leeds close in on reduced Georgino Rutter transfer

As such, it was little surprise to see the club looking to address the issue this month. And with Rutter this week emerging as their top target, talks over his transfer appear to have escalated quickly.

Indeed, with talks well underway between Leeds and Hoffenheim, the Frenchman appears destined to make the move to Elland Road.

That said, eyebrows have been raised by Leeds’ willingness to break their transfer record on the player. To that end, reports initially stated the Whites were negotiating a fee in the region of £35.5m (€40m) with the Bundesliga side.

However, it seems that, following extensive talks between the clubs, Leeds have managed to secure the player for a lesser fee. Indeed, per the Daily Mail, Leeds are now likely to secure the France U21 international for a fee in the region of £31.08m (€35m).

That, though, will still set Leeds back a new club-record fee, surpassing the £27m spent in summer 2020 for Rodrigo.

The delay in getting the deal over the line, though, had caused some unwelcome panic among Leeds’ fanbase.

Transfer remains on track for Leeds

However, L’Equipe insists the signing remains on track with Leeds fully focusing on getting the move over the line. They state a full agreement between all parties is closer than ever and that the possibility of ever seeing Rutter in a Hoffenheim shirt again is ‘diminishing by the hour’.

In addition, they state that Rutter has been training as normal throughout the process. The matter has been left in the hands of his agent and the two clubs.

However, the 20-year-old is now ‘seduced’ by the prospect of signing for Leeds. And they state he is ‘currently awaiting the outcome’ of the talks.

All being well, Leeds will be able to push the deal through by the weekend. And the player may be eligible to make his debut at home to Brentford on Sunday 22 January.

READ MOREEverything you need to know about Leeds United-bound Georginio Rutter

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