Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United are ready to give Leeds United competition for the signature of Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back Ben White.
According to a report published by The Sun, Leeds United are not alone in the running for the services of Brighton & Hove Albion centre-half Ben White, who is also on the radar of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.
White came through the Brighton youth setup, but has not made a single senior appearance for the Seagulls. Since being promoted to the Under-23 team, he has gone out on loan thrice in three years. He finally started to gain the attention of clubs across the country after his stint with Leeds United in 2019/20, becoming one of the key players as Marcelo Bielsa and his team gained promotion to the top flight after 16 years.
White played every single minute of Leeds’s Championship campaign – 46 appearances, registering 22 clean sheets. In the meantime, he also gained a reputation as one of the best ball-playing defenders in the league, racking up two assists through long balls.
The Whites certainly want to make his transfer permanent and would need him more than ever in the Premier League. However, his plaudits last season have not gone unnoticed, attracting the attention of several top clubs in the country, including Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Chelsea went through a robust campaign after hiring an inexperienced manager in Frank Lampard. Even though Lampard improved the team’s offensive attributes, the defence was far from reliable. The Blues conceded 54 goals across 38 games, which was more than 11 teams in the league, and at par with 15th placed Brighton.
Chelsea have spent nearly £100 million on two players – Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, and are on the brink of signing Kai Havertz. They are certainly in need of defensive reinforcements, but an asking price of £50 million could put them off. They have, however, also been linked with White’s potential future teammate, Lewis Dunk, who would cost a similar amount, if not higher.
Manchester United, on the other hand, boast of a more dependable backline thanks to the arrival of Harry Maguire from Leicester City and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace last summer. Despite that, though, United seem to leak goals from unforced errors made by the centre-back pairing of Maguire and Lindelof.
The latter is a good defender, but he cannot continue to start at a club like Manchester United; not when they want to challenge for the Premier title. White, to that end, could give Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer the option to rotate more regularly and provide rest to Maguire, who played every single minute of the Premier League season for Manchester United.
Liverpool, too, are after White, despite conceding the least amount of goals in the Premier League. This interest has been triggered by the departure of Dejan Lovren, which leaves the Reds with three first-team centre backs. Joe Gomez is a solid defender, but at the age of 23, needs proper rotation.
The same can also be given to Virgil van Dijk, who has completed 76 Premier League games in a row without rest, while Joel Matip has become injury prone in the past year. Hence, White is a viable target for Liverpool, although it will be interesting to see if they can meet his £50 million asking price, which ought to favour Manchester United over Chelsea and them.