Leeds United target Haydon Roberts is set to start for Brighton tonight (Wednesday) in their Carabao Cup clash versus Preston, according to The Athletic’s Andy Naylor.

Writing via The Athletic’s app, the Brighton correspondent reported that the 18-year-old will earn his third senior appearance for the south coast club when they kick off at 7pm at Deepdale.

While Leeds fans will be able to watch the match live on the Carabao Cup website – at a cost of £10 – to see why Victor Orta has set his sights on the teenage defender, Naylor has put a dampener on links between the Whites and the Brighton ace.

It is understood that although Leeds are interested in Roberts, Brighton are not keen on selling him.

Leeds have already had to deal with Brighton’s reluctance to sell defenders in this transfer window after multiple bids for Ben White were turned down by the south coast club before he eventually penned a new contract at the AMEX.

And it seems the Yorkshire giants will find it tough to deal with Brighton again on this instance, even though Roberts is still a rookie.

Roberts made his senior debut for the Seagulls last season when he scored in the Carabao Cup defeat to Aston Villa.

He then had to wait until last week to make his second appearance when he played in the 4-0 win against Portsmouth in the second round of the competition.

Marcelo Bielsa will feel as though his first-team centre-back options are sorted once Diego Llorente’s move from Real Socieded is finalised.

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As well as the incoming Spain international, the Whites will have Liam Cooper, Robin Koch, Pascal Struijk and once he’s recovered from injury, Gaetano Berardi could also be an option if he’s offered a new contract.

Roberts’ route to the senior squad at Elland Road will be blocked by internationals and players who’ve been at Thorp Arch way longer than him.

Brighton have no intention of selling Roberts and we don’t see why Roberts would have much intention of joining Leeds based on the heavy centre-back competition.

In other Leeds United news, Tony Dorigo’s been raving about this Leeds-linked number 10.

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