According to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, Marcelo Bielsa decided against signing Ben White in his first summer as Leeds United boss because he felt he had enough central defenders in his squad already.
The 22-year-old arrived at Elland Road on a season-long loan from Brighton and Hove Albion last summer, and has established himself as a key player under the Argentine tactician, playing every minute of the Championship campaign thus far.
White was brought in to replace Pontus Jansson after Bielsa fell out with the Sweden international, but he had already been on Leeds transfer radar prior to the Argentine’s arrival having been first scouted more than two years ago.
The defender is yet to play a league game for Brighton, with his only experience prior to last summer’s move being loan spells at League Two’s Newport County and League One’s Peterborough United.
However, he has made the step up to the Championship appear very easy and has been tipped to become a success in the Premier League, with Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United all keen on him ahead of the summer transfer window.
Leeds will look to make a permanent move for White signature if they get promoted, but they have modest expectations of making it happen and fear they will be disappointed given just how attractive he has become to the top-flight bigwigs within the space of nine months.