Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
What’s the story?
According to the Daily Mail, the 23-year-old has attracted the attention of several top sides, including United, following an impressive maiden campaign in the Premier League, resulting in a call up to the England squad for Euro 2020.
The report claims that Brighton have slapped a £50 million price tag on White’s head in order to fend off the likes of United, Liverpool and Arsenal, who are all thought to be monitoring the youngster’s progress.
Solskjaer will be gutted
After helping Leeds United claim the Championship title in 2019/20 during a successful loan spell, White returned to his parent club last summer and made the step up to the top-flight look easy.
It didn’t take long for the talented star to make his mark in England’s top division, earning praise from Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp back in September.
“I have got to mention Ben White. There is a centre-back there who is going to go right to the top. He is so comfortable on the ball; you can see why Leeds wanted to keep him,” said the former Liverpool midfielder.
“That young man is destined for an amazing future, he’s comfortable on the ball, brilliant defensively, and I love him.”
Marcelo Bielsa’s men tried to purchase the centre-back on a permanent basis 12 months ago but were ultimately unsuccessful following a string of bids reaching £25m.
White went on to make 36 appearances for the Seagulls last season as the south coast club finished in a respectable 16th position, and White’s imposing performances, added to him getting England recognition, have seen his valuation rocket.
An injury to Trent Alexander-Arnold opened the door for the youngster in Gareth Southgate’s England squad, seeing White’s reputation and price tag rise even further, spelling bad news for his potential suitors.
United are thought to be on the lookout for a new partner for Harry Maguire in the heart of the Red Devils’ defence, but whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is prepared to splash out £50m on a man with just one season of Premier League football under his belt in questionable.
The Old Trafford outfit finished 12 points behind table-toppers Manchester City in the recently concluded campaign, in part down to their inferior defensive record.
Pep Guardiola’s charges leaked 12 fewer efforts than their city rivals, highlighting the need for defensive reinforcements on the red half of Manchester.
With the pandemic continuing to have a negative effect upon football’s finances, even clubs like United are on the lookout for a bargain this summer, and White’s new valuation is far from a cut-price deal.
Whilst White’s international recognition is great for him, it will be gutting for Solskjaer as he could well be priced out of a move for the young defender.
And, in other news…Man Utd must avoid “absolutely shocking” £35m prodigy, he’s not good enough