Arsenal are the latest side to express an interest in signing Brighton and Hove Albion centre-back Ben White.
The England international, who excelled on loan with Leeds United in the 2019/20 campaign, has proven himself capable of performing in the Premier League, with his impressive performances for Brighton earning him a late call-up to Gareth Southgate’s squad for this summer’s European Championships.
Southgate is not the only manager who has been impressed by White. The Mirror state that Mikel Arteta has also liked what he has seen from the 23-year-old and now hopes to find a way to bring him to Arsenal.
Arteta expects to be backed this summer as he looks to bolster in a number of positions. Centre-back is an area in which he hopes to improve and White’s name has repeatedly been mentioned in recruitment meetings.
Unfortunately for the Spaniard, despite Arsenal’s willingness to provide funds, they may struggle to meet Brighton‘s asking price – which the Daily Mail first revealed sits at £50m as a result of his newfound status as an England international.
Finding that sort of money will be tough for the Gunners, who lost out to Aston Villa in their pursuit of Norwich’s Emi Buendia because of a reluctance to part with too much money up-front.
Of those sides, it’s United who could pose the biggest threat. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on the lookout for a new centre-back this summer, and while his focus remains on Sevilla’s Jules Kounde or Villarreal’s Pau Torres, the scale of the interest in those two targets could force him to turn elsewhere.
Back in April, the Manchester Evening News revealed that White would be open to the idea of moving to Old Trafford, and the fact that he recently confessed to idolising Rio Ferdinand when he grew up will send the rumour mill into overdrive.
For what it’s worth, Brighton are in no rush to offload White, who still has three years to run on his contract at the Amex Stadium. But there is an acceptance that a bid of close to the £50m mark could be too good to turn down.