The permanent signing of Ben White is a top priority for Leeds when the transfer window reopens, a report from The Athletic has claimed.
White joined Leeds on-loan from Brighton back in the summer transfer window, and has been a revelation in his first season playing at Championship level.
The centre back has featured in all 39 of Leeds’ league games this season, helping the club to top spot in the Championship table, eight points clear of third-placed Brentford in the race for automatic promotion, with his performance – perhaps not surprisingly – making quite an impression at Elland Road.
According to the latest reports, Leeds have now made signing White on a permanent basis their main priority for when the transfer window reopens later this summer.
However, while Leeds’ desire to extend White’s stay at the club is certainly understandable, it seems there is no guarantee they will be able to pull it off.
It is thought that Brighton will demand a fee of around £20million for White, which would be a near club-record fee for Leeds, something which may not be easy to afford given the financial impact of football’s postponement earlier this year, and subsequent move behind closed doors.
There is also interest from elsewhere for Leeds to contend with, as the Premier League’s current top two, Liverpool and Manchester City, are also said to have been monitoring the progress of White.
As things stand, there are currently two years remaining on White’s contract with Brighton, securing his future at the club until the end of the 2021/22 season.
Consequnetially, that scope to negotiate any offer for White that Brighton have, and the size and strength of those other clubs interested in the defender, mean that it is unlikely to be easy for Leeds to secure that longer-term deal for White.
But given the strength of relationship White appears to have built with the club over the course of the campaign, you feel he would certainly be comfortable, and indeed happy to remain at Leeds next season were things to work that way, which should at least work in Leeds’ favour in their pursuit of this deal.