Graham Potter's defiant transfer message as Liverpool and Manchester United track Brighton defender

Ben White has impressed during his loan spell at Leeds United
Ben White has impressed during his loan spell at Leeds United

Brighton and Hove Albion manager Graham Potter issued a firm hands-off warning to Liverpool and Manchester United as the Premier League giants target defender Ben White

White, 22, is on loan at Championship promotion-chasers Leeds United and has been highly impressive for Marcelo Bielsa's team. The Albion youngster is rated as one of the best defenders currently playing outside the Premier League and Liverpool and Manchester United are both said to be considering a £20m January swoop for the centre-back.

White signed a new one-year contract extension at Brighton in July 2019 before joining Leeds and Potter insists he is not for sale and believes his future is with the Seagulls.

“He’s our player and has a future here," said Potter. “He’s on loan now at Leeds and having a positive experience. But we’re looking forward to having him back at the right time. He’s our player, he’s contracted with us.”

With an injury to Brighton's Adam Webster and suspension to Lewis Dunk, there was speculation that White could be recalled but Potter insists the defender will see out the season with Bielsa's men and believes the club will resist any potential big money bids in January. Albion also feel White is worth far more than £20m, considering they paid £24m to Bristol City for Webster last summer.

Potter added, “He’s having a good time at Leeds, so we’ll assess at the end of the season to see what the best thing is going forward. Unless there is a real push for it, we won’t call him back. He’s having a positive time at Leeds and we are well covered in that position.

"We were aware of him when I was at Swansea, we were one of the clubs who would have tried to get him on loan if I was still there. So I know his quality.

“He had a loan spell at Newport and we tracked his progress for quite some time. He’s a player we like. If you see the way he plays, he’s a player who fits our way. We want to see him playing for Brighton in future.”