Leeds United transfer chief Angus Kinnear has spoken out amid recent transfer rumours circulating the club and Brighton defender Ben White.
As per Leeds Live, Kinnear indicated that the Yorkshire outfit remain interested in White but are exploring other options if Brighton don’t budge. He said: “The reality is, he did a wonderful job for us, but he’s a Brighton player. They rate him very highly, I’m sure they see us as a rival.
“The conversations are continuing but we have to be respectful of Brighton’s position, that he is their player.
“We have two or three other names in that group in terms of that position, who supporters should be really excited about. I know emotionally it won’t have the same appeal as getting Ben back. But if it doesn’t work with Ben we’ve got some good cover lined up.”
White had only played twice for Brighton prior to being loaned out to Leeds a year ago but he had an excellent 2019/20 season at Elland Road, being ever-present in helping Marcelo Bielsa’s team to end their 16-year exile from the Premier League.
The Yorkshire club are far from alone in terms of transfer interest in the defender. According to The Sun, all of last term’s Premier League top six are keen on the 22-year-old, who is valued at more than £50m by the Seagulls.
Further to Kinnear’s comments about Leeds casting a wider net in their hunt for a centre-back, The Telegraph reported at the weekend that the Whites are interested in Freiburg’s Robin Koch, who according to O Jogo could be available for just £10.8m – a fraction of what Brighton are demanding for White.
With Leeds not putting all their eggs in the White basket, Brighton may feel that one contender in the race for the 22-year-old’s signature could soon drop out.
The Seagulls are sending a clear message that they won’t be intimidated into selling the defender on the cheap by slapping a £50m price tag on him, even though he has never played a Premier League game.
Will Ben White be a Brighton player next season?
With transfer speculation surrounding the futures of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy at the Amex Stadium, it is only right that Brighton take a no-nonsense stance with White, and that may be enough to convince Leeds to look elsewhere for centre-back reinforcements instead.
Brighton fans, are you proud of the club’s hardline stance on White’s future amid such widespread transfer interest? Comment below with your views!
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