Liverpool have been handed a potential blow to their summer transfer plans after Brighton and Hove Albion reportedly slapped a £50 million price tag on Ben White.
What’s the story?
According to the Daily Mail, the Seagulls are hoping to fend off interest from several of the Premier League’s top teams following the centre-back’s call-up to the England squad for Euro 2020.
The report claims Jurgen Klopp’s charges, Manchester United and Arsenal are all keen on the 23-year-old after his impressive maiden top-flight campaign ended with a place in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad.
Klopp may be gutted
White made 39 appearances in all competitions for Brighton in 2020/21, playing a pivotal part in their respectable 16th placed finish.
He was the subject of a series of bids from Leeds United last summer, reaching the £25m mark after enjoying a successful loan spell at Elland Road the previous campaign.
However, Brighton held firm and kept hold of their prized asset, allowing the south coast side to enjoy their academy graduate on the biggest stage.
White’s splendid displays earned many plaudits throughout the recently concluding campaign, including that of his former manager Marcelo Bielsa.
“Ben White has shown he is a Premier League player. All of us here admire him as a player, ” said Bielsa.
“We respect him and love him as a human being. He was an excellent professional, as well as a teammate. I hope his career allows him to grow because he deserves it.”
It should come as no surprise then that the youngster has caught the eye of some of England’s most successful clubs, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be leaving the Amex Stadium over the coming months.
The financial impact of the ongoing pandemic means many sides are working on a limited budget this summer, and splashing out £50m on a defender with only one Premier League season under his belt may be a risk Liverpool want to avoid.
Liverpool’s centre-back’s all suffered serious injuries last season, highlighting the need for reinforcements in that area of Klopp’s first-team squad.
Nevertheless, the arrival of Ibrahima Konate for just £34m, added to Brighton’s huge asking price, may mean that a move for the £51,000-per-week White is off the cards at this moment in time.