Brighton boss Graham Potter dealt a blow to Leeds’ hopes of signing Ben White on a permanent deal, saying the club had no plans to sell the centre-back.
White has enjoyed a superb loan spell at Elland Road and was a crucial member of Marcelo Bielsa’s side that earned promotion to the Premier League as champions, starting all 46 games in the Championship.
The 22-year-old’s form has led to reports the club will attempt to bring him back on a permanent deal as they return to the top flight. But while Potter said he was pleased White enjoyed a successful season with Leeds, he insisted the club are looking forward to having him back in the first team squad.
‘He’s our player, he’s got a long contract with us,’ he said.
‘I have known Ben for a while, I have been aware of him, wanted to try and sign him when we were at Swansea.
‘I know about his qualities. He’s a fantastic player. He’s done brilliantly at Leeds and helped them get promotion – that’s fantastic for them, fantastic for him – but he’s our player and we’re looking forward to working with him.
‘He complements us really well. He’s got attributes that are really, really useful and he’s going to be a top player.’
White scored just once this season – coming on the final day as he opened the scoring in Leeds’ 4-0 win over Charlton before lifting the Championship trophy. It was a stunning strike too as his smashed in a volley from the edge of the area.
But he offered no hints about where his future lies after the game, instead praising the club and backing them to stay in the Premier League next season.
‘It’s an unbelievable club and unbelievable fans and I’ve really enjoyed my time.
‘I think with these manager and this set of players, they’ve definitely got a chance.’
The youngster has only featured twice in the past for Brighton – both coming in the League Cup.
He joined the Seagulls in 2016 and has been sent out on loan to Newport Town and Peterborough before seizing his big chance with Leeds.