By George Overhill

12th Jan, 2023 | 5:10pm

Jesse Marsch is the driving force at Leeds United behind the imminent club-record deal for Georginio Rutter, according to Sport Bild in Germany.

Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg first broke the news that United were after a “massive” deal for the 20-year-old forward on 7 July, and the Whites are now on the brink of completing the move for a total of €40million [£35.4million] with bonuses included.

It is a huge amount of money for the club to spend in the January window, on top of the £10million for Max Wober from Red Bull Salzburg, but it appears Marsch was adamant.

According to Sport Bild Marsch “really wanted” the France under-21 international in the winter, so now with a medical expected to take place at Leeds United on Thursday evening (12 January) it looks like he is to get his wish.

Driving force

Rutter is slated to fill the gap that is so often left by the injury absence of Patrick Bamford, but the youngster is still seen as primarily one for the future despite the huge fee.

If he can help support that attack which has been admirably spearheaded by Rodrigo for most of this season then it should make a key difference to the relegation battle that is shaping up.

The Spaniard, a former club-record signing, is fifth in the Premier League goals table with 10 so far this year, but his scoring often comes in streaks so assistance is needed if Bamford can’t stay fit.

There will be questions as to whether Rutter is ready to provide that with only 12 senior goals to his name so far, and just two in the Bundesliga this season.

If he struggles to make an impact the deal will be in the spotlight for the wrong reasons but if he can at least chip in this season and ensure the Whites stay up it will have paid off to push for the move in the winter window.

Managers often claim January is famously hard to find value in, and United are certainly paying a premium with this one, but if Marsch is once again celebrating survival come May then it will likely be worth it, and the next few seasons could be where the value really starts to show itself.

The club aren’t sitting back and letting the fight against the drop happen to them this year, and after scraping survival on the final day last season fans will hope that experience will help make things more comfortable this time around.

In other Leeds United news, the club have jolted into immediate negotiations after a surge in transfer interest over a potential key man of the future.