Leeds, Chelsea and Liverpool dealt blow in pursuit of Ben White as Brighton ‘REFUSE to sell rising star defender this summer’… but Shane Duffy will be free to leave
- Ben White’s form at Leeds on loan last season has seen interest in him rocket
- The 22-year-old is contracted to Brighton are they are determined to keep him
- Brighton are reportedly ready to let Shane Duffy leave to keep hold of White
Brighton are reportedly ready to allow Shane Duffy to depart this summer in a bid to keep hold of in-demand defender Ben White.
White, 22, excelled on loan at Leeds last season as Marcelo Bielsa guided the Yorkshire side back to the Premier League as champions of the Championship.
Leeds are keen to keep him but have so far seen their attempts to sign White rebuffed.
Ben White caught the eye on loan at Leeds last season and is generating interest this summer
Brighton boss Graham Potter is said to be ready to refuse to sanction any departure for White
The Sun report that Brighton have absolutely no interest in losing White this summer, with Chelsea and Liverpool also credited with an interest in him.
Duffy, six years White’s senior, has held talks with newly-promoted West Brom about a move with Potter set to phase the Republic of Ireland international out and promote White to a starting role.
He was the club’s player of the season in Chris Hughton’s last run but Potter has his own ideas and looks to be keen to build his defence around White.
Instead, it is expected that Shane Duffy will be allowed to go due to the surplus of centre backs
Duffy has also been considered by West Ham but his former Everton manager David Moyes is restricted by a tight budget. West Ham need to sell before they can buy and interest in their fringe players has been slow.
Brighton have an abundance of centre-backs, six in total, after recently adding Joel Veltman from Ajax, and they also have interest from Premier League rivals in Lewis Dunk.
Leeds are yet to give up hope that they can get White, who has two years left on his Brighton deal, with the newly-promoted side’s chief executive Angus Kinnear reflecting on their pursuit.
Leeds are keen to see White return on a permanent basis but Brighton are not prepared to sell
‘Ben is going to be hugely sought-after,’ Kinnear said, as reported by LeedsLive.
‘It’s one of the risks of doing the type of deal we did. I know supporters say “well, why isn’t there an option to buy him?” The reality was Brighton weren’t prepared to do that, so it was either take the player without an option or don’t take him at all.
‘We clearly made the right decision. We now have some conversations to have with Brighton as to where they see his future.’