By George Overhill

7th Jan, 2023 | 12:19pm

Leeds United want Hoffenheim forward Georginio Rutter “now” and the player is “open” to the move, according to Florian Plettenberg.

The 20-year-old Hoffenheim attacker has scored twice in the Bundesliga this season, while assisting two more, after netting eight times last season, and could cost as much as €40million [£35million].

The German club are reportedly aware of the interest and the deal could become “massive” as the Whites look to finally plug the gap left by Patrick Bamford’s fitness struggles.

Sky Sports Germany journalist Plettenberg reported on Twitter Saturday (7 January): “News Rutter: Leeds United wants him NOW! Hoffenheim is aware of the interest and it could become a massive deal.

“Talks around a transfer fee between €30-40m. The 20 y/o is open for the move.”

Huge news

Could this actually be the move that fans have been waiting for over the past year?

Leeds United supporters have been here before a few times but crucially if the player is ready to move to Elland Road and the club is prepared to listen to an offer then the Whites look to be a number of steps down the line to a successful signing.

The goalscoring record isn’t spectacular yet, but eight goals over the course of a top flight season at such a young age last year isn’t to be sniffed at.

And at just 20, there is scope for the youngster to develop further, as well as there being plenty of resale value if he turns out to be a hit.

The fee is a surprise given that there are doubts over the amount available to spend at the club with Andrea Radrizzani’s time in charge soon coming to an end.

But, whether it was the Italian or the 49ers behind it, there was apparently a similar sum available to go after Charles De Ketelaere in the summer, so this looks like a potentially major development in the January window.

In other Leeds United move, another Whites target may have already played his last game for his current club.