Brighton thwarted Leeds United’s attempt to sign defender Ben White permanently, it has been reported.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds agreed a season long loan deal for the 21-year-old during the summer transfer window.
Bielsa is a huge a admirer of the centre back, who has been at Brighton since 2016 and agreed a new long-term contract with the Seagulls in April 2018. White also signed a one-year extension before departing for Leeds, which will keep him at the Amex until summer 2022.
The Leeds manager wanted to explore the option of a loan to buy, similar to their signing of Helder Costa from Wolves – a transfer that will become permanent next summer for £15million. It is also similar to the loan to buy deal Brighton agreed with Fulham for Anthony Knockaert.
But Albion blocked the Championship club’s bold move for White and were said to be adamant they wanted a straight season loan, with no option to buy once the loan expires.
Albion see White as one for the future and believe the tough tackling centre half, who is also comfortable on the ball, can thrive for them in the Premier League in future.
As it stands, they are keen for White to gain experience with a big club in the second tier while their first team defenders Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk, Dan Burn and Adam Webster compete for the starting spots in the Premier League this season.
White has also had loan spells with Newport County and Peterborough and previously attracted interest from Tottenham.
He has impressed all at Leeds so far this season and has started all three of United’s Championship matches alongside Liam Cooper in the centre of defence.
Leeds have won two and drawn once and White has made a positive impact on the first team as Leeds look to push for promotion once again this season.