Hoffenheim have stopped Georginio Rutter training and taking part in a mid-season friendly due to intense interest in the Leeds target.
Rutter has been identified as a potential solution to the problems taking hold at Leeds as Jesse Marsch tries to steer them clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
They are currently 14th, two points above the top-flight trapdoor and in need of January transfer window inspiration.
Rutter is the player Marsch wants, having been impressed with the 20-year-old forward’s Bundesliga performances.
Leeds remain locked in negotiations over a deal which should surpass the cost of the move which brought club-record signing Rodrigo to Elland Road upon their promotion.
Hoffenheim have taken action to try and protect the player.
‘For the time being, Georginio Rutter will not take part in full training or in the friendly against Servette,’ read a statement on the club’s website.
‘Reports have been circulating since yesterday that Georginio Rutter is about to be transferred to the Premier League.’
Alexander Rosen went into more detail on the situation, to which Hoffenheim have hope of finding a more suitable permanent solution soon.
“Georgi is confronted with a major issue that occupies him intensely,” said Rosen.
“He’s a very young man, so it’s understandable that he’s concerned about the current situation.
“From our side, this is about dealing with a young person responsibly and so we have decided that he should not train fully with the team at the moment.
“Obviously there has been tremendous interest in such a talented player not only since yesterday. You don’t have to be an expert to know this.
“There is currently more than one club that is trying hard to get the player. Ultimately we have to decide what is best for Hoffenheim under the given circumstances.
“But it is also important to include the thoughts of Georginio and those around him, because after all we are not talking about a piece of furniture here, but about the future of a young person.”
Other striker targets on the Leeds radar include Coventry City forward Viktor Gyokeres and Hwang Hee-chan of Wolves, while The Athletic also claim that Joe Gelhardt has a number of suitors exploring their options this month.