Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has backed the Yorkshire giants to return with an improved offer for Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White according to Football Insider.
Leeds have already had two offers for White rejected with bids of £18.5million and £22million having already been turned down but Whelan thinks they will offer around £27million for the defender.
Whelan has claimed that £5million of the £27million would be triggered should they escape relegation next season but that could still be some way off Brighton’s valuation with the Seagulls looking for a fee of around £35million.
The former Leeds striker thinks that Brighton are too high in their valuation and need to be more realistic.
“He has had one season in the Championship,” Whelan said. “Brighton were not even bothered before that. They are holding Ben White to ransom because of one good season.”
“A great football player but it is not like he has been playing in the top flight, where you can command a fee like Nathan Ake. Right now, £22million for a player they have not even used is a good deal. It is a fair price for everybody. They need to be realistic.”
“I am sure Ben White would love to come to Leeds United and carry on where he left off this year. He feels settled at the club, he likes the lads at the club.”
“We need Ben White. It might be a case of an initial £22million and we rise it to £27million if we stay in the Premier League – that could be a goer. That might be tempting to them.”
Whelan makes a very good point regarding the fee for White. He has only had one good season in the Championship and has no previous top-flight experience.
Leeds will need to be wise and sensible with their budget with finances having been strained due to the Coronavirus pandemic and if Brighton continue to play hardball they could see themselves priced out of a move for the defender.