By Saikat Mandal

11th Jan, 2023 | 10:40am

Bidding war for Joe Gelhardt expected as Leeds United eye move for Georginio Rutter

Joe Gelhardt could decide to leave Leeds United on loan in January if the club sign Hoffenheim striker Georginio Rutter in the coming days, as reported by Graham Smyth.

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post [10 January], the Whites would need to offer a club-record fee to convince the Bundesliga side to part with their young Frenchman, and no agreement has been reached yet.

However, if he joins, Gelhardt could be shipped out on loan, and it could spark a second-tier bidding war for his signature, as a “significant number” of Championship outfits have already expressed interest.

Swansea and Wigan Atheltic have registered an interest but Leeds are more than happy to keep the 20-year-old at Elland Road for the rest of the season.

A temporary move will depend on the offers the club receive and what the player wants at the moment.

Frustrating

It has been a frustrating campaign for the youngster who has managed just 188 minutes of Premier League action over 14 appearances. 

Last season, Gelhardt threatened to break into the first team, and the club probably didn’t sign a big-name striker in the summer with the idea that it might hamper his progress. 

He was handed a start away at Cardiff in the FA Cup third round on Sunday (8 January) but he failed to make an impact and was taken off in the 73rd minute. 

Ideally, Jesse Marsch should keep him at the club despite the potential arrival of Rutter. 

Patrick Bamford is expected to return shortly but it’s hard to predict about his fitness these days. If he picks up yet another injury, the club could be left with limited options once again. 

Having said that, a loan spell away from the club could be beneficial for the youngster. He needs regular time to boost his confidence which he is lacking badly at the moment. 

In other Leeds United news, this Belgian hotshot is on his way to Elland Road.