LEEDS face potential heartbreak in their chase for Ben White – but the Brighton defender could still land a big move elsewhere.
The Championship title-winners are desperate to land the £20million-rated defender who has been outstanding in his spell on loan at Elland Road this season.
But Brighton are unwilling to sell to a ‘rival’ club who could be near them in the Premier League table next season.
Seagulls boss Graham Potter wants White, 22, who played every minute of Leeds’ successful League season, to be a key starter at the Amex next term.
But Brighton, who are strapped for cash, are still likely to listen to offers from clubs at the very top end of the League if the teams are willing to pay over the odds.
Liverpool, Manchester United, Wolves and Leicester have all shown an interest.
He’s done brilliantly at Leeds and helped them get promotion – that’s fantastic for them, fantastic for him – but he’s our player
Yet Leeds’ fans and all the players are still hoping White – who has two years left on his current deal – will return to Elland Road on a permanent deal.
But Brighton boss Graham Potter said: “He’s our player, he’s got a long contract with us.
“I have known Ben for a while, I have been aware of him, wanted to try and sign him when we were at Swansea.
“I know about his qualities. He’s a fantastic player.
He’s done brilliantly at Leeds and helped them get promotion – that’s fantastic for them, fantastic for him – but he’s our player and we’re looking forward to working with him
“He complements us really well. He’s got attributes that are really, really useful and he’s going to be a top player.”
White scored just once this season and that was a stunning volley in Wednesday’s 4-0 hammering of Charlton.
White joined Brighton in 2016 after being released by Southampton.
He has played just twice for the club- in the EFL Cup – and has also been sent out on loan to Newport and Peterborough.