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Leeds United are willing to pay £20 million to sign Ben White on a permanent basis after his sublime loan spell from Brighton and Hove Albion, according to the Sun (29 July, page 51).

To quote this writer’s Leeds-mad friend: ‘Losing White feels like a break-up’.

During a glorious 2019/20 campaign, even grown men were reduced to love-struck schoolkids by arguably the most naturally gifted centre-half to wear that iconic white shirt since a fresh-faced Rio Ferdinand.

REACTING TO 19/20 PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS

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White was perhaps the best player in the Championship’s best team, standing head and shoulders above every other second-tier defender with his exceptional reading of the game and a passing range to rival that of even Kalvin ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ Phillips.

Pontus who?

But, with the 22-year-old taking to Instagram to pen an emotional farewell to life at Elland Road, have Leeds fans seen the last of White?

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The Sun reports that Brighton have no plans to sell one of the most exciting talents in British football to a club which, on paper at least, could be battling against them for survival next year.

Leeds, for what it’s worth, are willing to pay £20 million to sign White on a permanent basis.

And while Brighton might have set pulses racing up north on Wednesday when they announced the signing of another centre-half, Joel Veltman from Ajax, that does not necessarily mean that White will suddenly be up for sale.

If a Liverpool, a Chelsea or a (shudder) Manchester United come calling, however, the Seagulls could change their stance.

The Sun adds that Leeds will go for Tottenham’s £15 million-rated Juan Foyth if they cannot get their hands on White again.

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

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