The signing of Ben White is proving difficult for Leeds United, with Brighton and Hove Albion continuing to insist that he’s not for sale this summer.
Leeds had White on loan from Brighton last season and the defender excelled in the Championship, playing every minute of the 46-game season as Leeds won promotion and the title.
However, moves to sign White on a permanent basis have proved difficult, with reports suggesting a £22m bid (a potential club-record transfer fee) has been rejected.
Quiz: Do you remember which club Leeds United signed these 15 players from?
Now, David Anderson at the Mail is claiming that whilst Leeds aren’t shutting the door on a move for White in case Brighton change their stance, attempts to sign the 22-year-old have ‘hit a brick wall’ with the Seagulls unwilling to sell.
In addition to that, Leeds are actively looking at other targets to fill the void at centre-back.
Leeds’ bid to re-sign Ben White has hit a brick wall because Brighton insist he is not for sale. Leeds are leaving the door open should Brighton’s stance change, but are actively looking at other centre-half targets. #lufc
— David Anderson (@MirrorAnderson) August 19, 2020
Yesterday it was reported in The Athletic that Robin Koch of Freiburg was an option for the Whites, with the 24-year-old a similar profile to White in terms of ability and age.
Currently, Liam Cooper is the only recognised centre-back on the books at Leeds, with White heading back to Brighton and Gaetano Berardi facing months on the sidelines with an ACL injury.
Pascal Struijk and Luke Ayling are a couple of options available to Bielsa to step in if required.
How long can Leeds wait for White?
It’s getting towards three weeks until the new season and Leeds are in desperate need of a centre-back to come in to play alongside Cooper.
White is the obvious target, but he’s Brighton’s player and it’s little surprise that the Seagulls want to retain him; he’s a top talent and will likely start for them in the Premier League.
If it isn’t going to be White, it has to be a player of a similar calibre coming into the club ahead of any pre-season friendlies.
Thoughts? Let us know!