Tables have turned: Whelan explains why Leeds have the leverage to sign Ben White
Leeds United are in a strong negotiating position and will not be “held to ransom” over a possible deal for Ben White.
That is according to ex-Leeds forward and lifelong fan Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider with White’s Brighton side only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
With relegated clubs often finding themselves in a fire sale situation, fans have speculated that White could become available in the summer.
The centre-back spent the 2019-20 campaign on loan with Leeds in the second-tier and impressed supporters with his defensive skill set and poise on the ball.
As revealed by Football Insider, United had a £30million bid for White rejected by Brighton before he signed a new contract last summer.
Whelan claims that Leeds purchase of Diego Llorente and Robin Koch means they will only splash out on White if he is available at a more reasonable price.
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He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “I’m not sure we should try and sign him. I think we’re covered at centre-half now. I think that door’s closed.
“He was fantastic but Brighton tried to price Leeds United out when he’s not worth that amount of money, not right now, not when he’s not proven himself in the Premier League.
“I think Angus Kinnear and Victor Orta and the manager did the right thing in going out and buying two international players for one that is unproven and isn’t an international player.
“I think we’ve got all out bases covered. If you can get him at a decent price – less than £30m – and it’s a realistic price then absolutely. But I don’t think we’re going to be held to ransom over Ben White.”
Leeds find themselves in a highly-creditable 11th place but have won just one of their last five matches.
Brighton too are in a dire run of form and have not won since a 1-0 victory over Liverpool on 3 February.