Brighton manager Graham Potter is not worried about Ben White having his head turned by interest from Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, but already appears resigned to losing the player to a bigger club in due course.
White enjoyed a breakout year while on loan with Leeds last season, helping the club secure a long overdue return to the Premier League, but Brighton resisted selling on a permanent basis.
White has since become a key asset for the Seagulls, starting every Premier League game and being an ever-present since he was substituted near the end on the first day of the season.
His performances have unsurprisingly brought attention from bigger clubs.
90min first revealed last month that Manchester United have been monitoring White alongside a number of potential targets – including Pau Torres and Dayot Upamecano – as they assess their strategy to sign a new centre-back in the coming months.
Sky Sports also later named United as a White suitor, while adding both Chelsea and Tottenham to the list of clubs keeping an eye on the 23-year-old. Chelsea’s rumoured interest in White emerged as early as December 2019 when a £25m bid was mooted halfway through his loan at Leeds.
Liverpool have also been linked in the wake of losing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to injury, although their intention is not to spend in January – even though White ticks the boxes of a long-term prospect who could eventually replace an almost 30-year-old Van Dijk.
Brighton boss Potter has praised White’s professionalism, noting that he never caused a problem when Leeds wanted to buy him and the Seagulls refused to sell. But while the player is unlikely to push for a move, there appears an acceptance that White is destined for bigger things.
“He is a level-headed guy and he wants to play football at the very highest level,” Potter is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
"He gets down with his work. He was totally professional in the summer, despite the noise outside which you cannot control. He is a smart guy. We will try to help him enjoy his football as that is the most important thing."