Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch was in no mood to elaborate on the club’s proposed club-record signing of Georginio Rutter in the wake of their ongoing wait to confirm his arrival.
The Whites were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa on Friday night to leave Leeds just two points clear of the drop zone ahead of Saturday’s games. After only surviving on the last day of last season, Leeds will be hoping to breathe a little easier this time around.
And in order to enhance their chances, the club are actively pursuing a number of January targets to address weaknesses in their squad. To that end, Maximilian Wober – a left-sided centre-half who can operate at left-back – has already come in.
The club are also actively chasing a new attacker in the shape of Rutter. Leeds have agreed a fee with Hoffenheim which will see the France U21 striker move to Elland Road in a club-record deal.
Despite claims on Thursday that the move was edging closer, the Whites are yet to formally announce his signing.
And Marsch was quick bat off questions about the prospective deal when asked after the defeat at Villa Park.
“No, I won’t discuss that. We will have enough announcements in the upcoming days,” Marsch told Sky Sports.
Asked if recruitment in general was important for Leeds this month, Marsch pondered before offering an answer.
“Yes and no,” he said. “But also getting Luis Sinisterra back will be important for us, and keeping ourselves healthy.”
Leeds told they are paying over the odds for Georginio Rutter
“We are really excited about our cup match against Cardiff at home and then we will have to get ready for Brentford and then the next match and then the next week and that’s what this is.
“It’s about standing strong and facing difficulty and being ready to be at our best. We did that tonight and we were unlucky not to come away with more.”
As Leeds continue to delay the announcement, one observer reckons Leeds are paying over the odds for Rutter.
His signing will reportedly set Leeds back an initial £32m. And that will surpass their previous club record of £27m for Rodrigo.
And according to German football consultant Jasmine Baba, the Whites are paying too much for the 20-year-old.
“We have him at [a value of] around €16-20 million at the moment, which Leeds are basically doubling,” she told ITV Sport. “It’s a lot over what he’s valued at the moment. And that can bring quite an unhealthy expectation to such a young player and could backfire.”
Baba does, though, label Rutter a “technically gifted and very dynamic striker”, adding about his signing: “People should not expect Leeds’ problems to magically disappear.”
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