By David Woods

14th Aug, 2020 | 11:33am

Phil Hay delivers Ben White transfer update, names 'upper ceiling' Leeds United will pay

Leeds United want Brighton centre-back Ben White. Brighton don’t want to sell at the moment. That’s the stand-off that Leeds fans are all too aware of at the moment. 

Leeds haven’t given up on bringing the player back to Elland Road, though.

And Athletic journalist Phil Hay thinks that Leeds are willing to smash their transfer record for the 22-year-old.

However, he also said that White is still discussing terms of a new contract at the Amex.

“With White, it was inevitable that if they sign him it would break the transfer record – that’s the £18m for Rio that’s stood for 20 years,” Hay said.

“White will definitely go for more than that. There were reports last weekend that were accurate of two bids being knocked back, one of £18m and one of £22m. From what I understand both had add-ons on top of that, England appearances and the like.

“Brighton don’t want to know at the moment and are in the process of trying to get him to sign a new contract. If he signs a new contract it would be game over but they haven’t been able to meet his demands or what he’s looking for.

“Leeds will push this up closer to £30m. There was a report that they had bid £30m but I’m told that’s not right and that they’re still at £22m, at the moment, and that White is discussing terms with Brighton on whether an extension can be done.

“But if they get a sense that a deal can be done they’ll push it, but there will have to be an upper ceiling. So this is a big one for them.”

White deal is complex

There are a lot of moving parts to the White deal at the moment. Brighton want him to sign a new contract that would see him stay at the Amex at least for the next season.

So far, White is resisting and while that’s the case Leeds obviously believe they can bring him back to Elland Road.

So far, despite talk of clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea being interested, no one else has come in with a solid bid for him.

With the Premier League season a few weeks away from starting, we would think that something has to happen with White soon.

That’s certainly the case for Leeds. Hay also said that Marcelo Bielsa only wants one centre-back, despite an injury to Gaetano Berardi.

That means that he’s happy with existing cover, with young Charlie Cresswell and Oliver Casey featuring in first-team training.

As good as they are, we wouldn’t be comfortable starting the season with them or Pascal Struijk as starting XI players in the heart of defence.

Whether the one centre-back Leeds bring in is White or not, things need to start moving.

In other Leeds United news, talkSPORT pundit risks anger of Brighton fans as he sends Leeds message to Ben White