The reshuffling of the first-team deck of cards at Elland Road could be set to continue during the January transfer window as Leeds United has been linked with interest in TSG Hoffenheim’s French youth international striker Georginio Rutter.
Rutter (20) has been one of the bright young spots in Sinsheim for Andre Breitenreiter’s Die Kraichgauer since his arrival from Brittany-based outfit Stade Rennais - of whom he graduated from at the academy level - during the summer of 2021.
Since then, Rutter had a very credible first full season at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena during the 2021-22 Bundesliga campaign when he scored eight goals and added a further four assists across 33 appearances, though he has struggled this season with just two and two in 15 outings.
According to Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, Leeds is heavily interested in trying to negotiate a January move for the French U21 center-forward, which could see Hoffenheim net a massive profit in the process.
The Bundesliga club paid just €750k for the Frenchman but could receive somewhere in the region of €30m-€40m if Leeds lodges a formal bid before the conclusion of the winter window, which would see director of football Victor Orta continue to look for younger player profiles that can contribute upon arrival under manager Jesse Marsch.
Orta deserves an immense amount of credit for prizing Italian starlet Wilfried Gnonto to Yorkshire from Swiss outfit FC Zürich in the summer, with the 19-year-old forward already proving to be one of the brightest young talents in the Premier League. Leeds has also put increased faith in academy products Joel Gelhardt and Crysencio Summerville to great effect in the current campaign, while other deals for Tyler Adams, Luis Sinisterra, and Brendan Aaronson saw The Whites bed in six players aged 23 or younger.