By Noel Whelan

29th Jun, 2021 | 8:45pm

White would have 'loved to join Leeds' amid reported bid update - Whelan

Noel Whelan has admitted he is gutted to hear former Leeds United loanee Ben White could join Arsenal this summer. 

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker suggested the defender would have been devastated a return to Elland Road never materialised last year. 

As reported by the Athletic’s David Ornstein (June 24th), Arsenal are in discussions to sign White for a fee in the region of £50million. 

It is said the Brighton star is Mikel Arteta’s top target and a deal should be concluded in the near future.

As revealed by Football Insider last summer, Leeds tabled three offers up to £30million to sign White after his loan spell at Elland Road.

Whelan claimed the defender was desperate to push through a move to return to Yorkshire but a fee could not be agreed.

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He admitted Leeds’ loss was certainly going to be Arsenal’s gain.

Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “I’m disappointed. He definitely wanted to come to Leeds, there’s no doubt about that.

“He couldn’t do anything about Brighton asking for £40million. We’ve got two internationals for less than that in Robin Koch and Llorente. They’re Spain and Germany internationals.

“But at that time we just couldn’t raise to that kind of money when we needed more players into Elland Road. I think the club did do the right thing.

“When you look at being priced out, he was priced out. He would have loved to join Leeds United and carried on his love affair there after getting promoted.

“Brighton saw a good player and money signs. When you’re not a top-six side, you’ve got to capitalise on that investment and that’s what Brighton have done.

“Arsenal, despite the ninth-place finish, they’re looking to shake things up. There’s still a massive club with some absolutely fantastic players.

“They’re looking to freshen that whole squad up and look to challenge. He’ll be one added bonus to that team that will push them forward.”

In other news, Leeds United target close to securing £12million move to Premier League.