Leeds United head coach Daniel Farke was so determined to keep Georginio Rutter this summer that the Whites rejected an offer that could have seen them pretty much get most of their original money back on their club-record signing.
The French forward moved to Elland Road in January, the Whites paying Hoffenheim a club-record fee worth an initial £32m, but rising to £35m (€40m), on a five-and-a-half-year deal.
The move for the 21-year-old, however, failed to bear fruit as Rutter failed to score in his first 13 appearances as Leeds dropped out of the Premier League with a whimper.
Following relegation, a host of top stars departed Elland Road, many of them making use of clauses in their deals that allowed them to depart in the wake of demotion.
However, new boss Farke was determined not to let Rutter join the exodus, with the German boss making clear his stance in the wake of a sizeable offer that came Leeds way for Rutter.
And according to Ruhr24, Borussia Dortmund were willing to go all out to bring Rutter back to the Bundesliga this summer.
They claim they had an initial offer worth €29m (£25.2m) rejected by Leeds for Rutter, but would have been willing to go much higher, even near to the initial €36.7m (£32m) that Leeds paid for the attacker in the winter window.
However, Farke was determined Leeds could not afford to let the forward leave, outlining to the club his plans for Rutter to get regular game-time for the Whites this season.
Farke wanted to keep Rutter at Leeds at all costs
And so far this season, Farke has been true to his word with Rutter featuring in five of Leeds’ seven Championship games to date. In that time, Rutter has scored two goals and made another, proving his manager’s decision to put his trust in the player.
And while his partnership with summer signing Joel Piroe is still in his infancy, the player already cuts a much happier figure at Elland Road this season; even having his name sung by Whites’ supporters.
Leeds’ decision to reject the Dortmund offer was certainly a big statement of intent from Farke, with Leeds possibly seeing it as easier to sell off a player who appeared to struggle to get to grips with the English game in those difficult first few months.
And ultimately Leeds made it clear to Dortmund they were unwilling to entertain his sale. That stance saw Dortmund very quickly change their tack too, with the Bundesliga giants – who are ironically a twin city of Leeds – instead moving to sign Niclas Füllkrug from Werder Bremen instead.
Leeds entertain Watford at Elland Road on Saturday looking for their third win of the season, but having only suffered one defeat of their seven games played so far.