'We need to spend £35m' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to Phil Hay's Leeds transfer reveal
Noel Whelan urges Leeds United to sign an experienced centre-half this summer if they fail in their bid to sign Ben White this summer.
The former Whites and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed that the club “need to spend” £35million on two centre-halves this summer.
Leeds’ attempts to sign White have so far been unsuccessful with bids of £18.5million and £22million rejected by Brighton.
The Athletic‘s Phil Hay suggested that Manchester City’s 18-year-old defender, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, could be a potential “back-up” option for Marcelo Bielsa.
Harwood-Bellis made four senior appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side last season, all in cup competitions and three of which were starts.
When asked by Football Insider if he would rather Leeds sign an experienced defender if a deal for White falls flat, Whelan said:
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“We took a chance on Ben White when we let go of Pontus Jansson but the club have done their due diligence on the player.
“But if they cannot get White then I think you have to seriously look at someone who is more experienced.
“White has the experience of being at the football club but even if we got Ben White it would not be enough. We need two centre-halves at least. You have got to spend around about the £35million mark on two centre-halves. You need back-up.”
Football Insider understands that Brighton want a fee in the region of £35million for White this summer after a hugely successful loan spell at Elland Road last season.
He was ever-present in the Championship as Marcelo Bielsa’s side gained promotion and lifted Leeds back to the Premier League for the first time since 2004.
In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills has told Football Insider that attacker is “too expensive” for Whites after Bielsa transfer U-turn.