By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Reports: Hoffenheim leap ahead in race for Wolfsburg's Waldschmidt

Both Germany's main sporting tabloid and its preeminent footballing publication are currently reporting that sparsely used VfL Wolfsburg attacker Luca Waldschmidt's next destination now appears to be Hoffenheim.
Despite rumors linking him with Schalke and Köln over the weekend, it looks as if the far richer Sinsheimers will be the ones to pick up seven-times-capped German international Luca Waldschmidt in the coming transfer period. This latest link was initially published by German tabloid Sport Bild earlier in the day and confirmed by German footballing magazine Kicker later in the evening.

The current 26-year-old former German youth international star had also been linked with several other Bundesliga clubs (Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart to name two) as part of a loan deal for the second half of the season. Hoffenheim - in urgent need of attacking reinforcements themselves - nevertheless simply have deeper pockets.

According to both sources, Wolfsburg hope to recoup at least half of the €12 million they spent to acquire Waldschmidt from Benfica Lisbon in the autumn of 2021. After scoring just one goal for Germany's green company team since then, the striker once valued at over €20 million during his days at SC Freiburg has seen his estimated market value plummet to €4.5 million.

The Kraichgauer can obviously afford to overpay slightly. Waldschmidt himself would likely be eager to agree to a deal at a club where he can be guaranteed an immediate starting spot and a chance to resurrect his career. Recent form notwithstanding, Waldschmidt still maintains an impressive total of 19 Bundesliga goals and 12 assists in his seasons spent playing for Wolfsburg, Freiburg, and Hamburger SV.

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