By Sam Stone

8th Jan, 2023 | 12:40pm

Phil Hay reacts as Leeds United line up blockbuster Georginio Rutter signing from Hoffenheim

Phil Hay has suggested Leeds United have other forwards shortlisted as the club close in on the signing of Hoffenheim striker Georginio Rutter.

RMC Sport journalist Fabrice Hawkins revealed (via Twitter, 7 January) Rutter is eager to join Leeds with a £3.5million a year contract on the table (£67,000-a-week).

It’s believed the transfer fee could range from £26million to £35million with the Whites pushing to complete the deal as soon as possible (Sky Sports journalist, Florian Plettenberg, 7 January).

Hay has since confirmed the interest from the Yorkshire side with other forwards still being on the club’s radar.

“You’ll have seen the reports in Germany yesterday about Leeds being interested in Hoffenheim forward Georginio Rutter,” wrote The Athletic journalist (his latest Q and A, 8 January).

“Those are accurate so we wait to see how that develops. There are other forwards who Leeds have shortlisted too but Rutter is a talent and he very much fits the mould of the players Leeds try to recruit.”

Huge

The signing of Rutter would be a big statement of intent from the board and would go a long way in easing the club’s current issues in the striking department. The 20-year-old would be able to come in and make an immediate impact for Jesse Marsch’s side.

A forward was simply a must for the Whites in the January window and it’s pleasing to see them kickstart their business relatively early on. Rutter seems to be in the mould of a versatile forward who can play across the front line, however, an out-and-out number nine or more physical presence up front could also be on the agenda.

Leeds fans will be thrilled with the early business but there are still areas of the squad which need improvement if the club are to give themselves the best chance of avoiding relegation come May. We’ve seen Leeds move quickly once they’ve been linked with players and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Rutter deal concluded within the next day or two.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites have already made an approach to sign a player who could be the next arrival at Elland Road after Max Wober.