Leeds United dealt transfer blow as Ben White race hots up

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Leeds United are not messing around.

After spending 16 years outside of the top flight you can hardly blame them for being hugely prepared.

While Marcelo Bielsa's side dominated life in the Championship last term, they face a completely different challenge this time around.

The Whites are one of the biggest names in English football, but when it comes to stature and finances they're going to face a huge task to compete with the other 19 sides in the top flight.

The gulf in class between the two divisions is huge, and that means that Leeds will need to strengthen if they're to bridge the gap.

Plenty of new names have been linked with a move to Elland Road, but it's a familiar face who fans most want to see.

Ben White is a fan favourite in west Yorkshire after sublime campaign last time out where he was an ever-present in the league.

But it seems that getting him back on a permanent deal is proving to be tricky.

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Football Insider have claimed that Leeds United have had a bid of £30million rejected by Brighton.

Reports have suggested that the Premier League newcomers had an offer of £22million rejected in recent days, and were lining up another offer.

But with that improved bid also rejected, it means that Leeds have a decision to make as interest hots up in the 22-year-old.

Liverpool and Chelsea have also been linked with a move for the youngster, who we must remember still belongs to Brighton.

The Seagulls would undoubtedly love to keep White at the club, but with such intense speculation over his future it seems unlikely that he will stick around on the south coast.

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GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

This is turning into a real transfer saga.

Ben White enjoyed an outstanding season at Leeds United last term and it's clear to see that this hasn't gone unnoticed.

Likened to former England man Rio Ferdinand, the 22-year-old looks like he'll have his pick of potential destinations this summer.

It's obvious why Leeds are interest, but they must be cautious.

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A £30million offer is huge for a player with no Premier League experience, and surely that has to be taken into account.

At some stage Marcelo Bielsa's side may need to walk away and pursue other targets, as the last thing they want is to be ripped off with a risky move.

Unless Leeds match Brighton's valuation, the only other way that I can see a breakthrough happening is if the young defender was to hand in a transfer request, however it's unclear whether that is a realistic option.

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