By Kevin Phillips

3rd Sep, 2020 | 5:12pm

'It's a Huge blow' - Exclusive: Phillips reacts after Leeds target agrees terms with rivals

Kevin Phillips insisted that it is a “huge blow” for Leeds United that Ben White has committed his long-term future to Brighton.

The former Sunderland and West Brom striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, is adamant that the club will have planned for this eventuality and have other targets to pursue.

Brighton announced on Tuesday that the 22-year-old had put pen to paper on a new four-year deal at the club.

White was one of the standout performers in the Championship last season and played an integral part in Marcelo Bielsa’s side’s promotion to the Premier League.

Leeds were very open about their pursuit of the centre-half but saw numerous bids rejected by the Seagulls last month.

When asked by Football Insider how the news will have been received at Elland Road, Phillips said:

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“It’s a huge blow to Leeds but they will have planned for this eventuality. You do not put all of your eggs in one basket.

“Losing out on a player that looked like he wanted to come to the club and did so well for them last year will be a blow but Bielsa is experienced enough to know that transfera do not always come off. I am sure they have got other options and they need to forget about Ben White now because he is a Brighton player for the next four years.

“It is disappointing because they brought him in as an unknown, got the best out of him but now Bielsa has to do it all over again with someone else.”

When speaking on his client’s new deal, White’s agent Alex Levack told Sky Sports: “He enjoyed his time at Leeds incredibly… But when a football club don’t want to sell it’s very difficult.

“There was a tinge of disappointment but that passed quickly.”

In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills drops worrying Whites transfer claim.