Ben White 'disappointed' Leeds move fell through before signing new Brighton deal, says agent

Alex Levack: "Of course [he was disappointed]. He enjoyed his time at Leeds incredibly. They looked after him so well, the fans were fantastic to him. But when a football club don't want to sell it's very difficult"

Ben White appears set to stay at Brighton this season
Image: Ben White is keen to get started in the Premier League, says Alex Levack

Ben White was "disappointed" his summer move to Leeds collapsed but is fully committed to Brighton after signing a new deal, says his agent Alex Levack.

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Elland Road, with Marcelo Bielsa's side unsuccessful with an initial £18.5m offer for the centre-back, before having two further bids of £22m and £25m turned down by Brighton.

White, who had two seasons plus the option of a third remaining on his previous contract, had rejected three offers of a new deal from the club but will be part of Graham Potter's squad for 2020/21 after agreeing terms until June 2024.

Ben White spent last season on loan at Leeds
Image: White played in every Leeds league game last season

When asked on The Transfer Show whether White was disappointed a move to Leeds fell through, Levack said: "Of course. He enjoyed his time at Leeds incredibly. They looked after him so well, the fans were fantastic to him. But when a football club don't want to sell it's very difficult.

Ben White has signed a new four-year contract with Brighton
Image: White recently signed a new four-year contract with Brighton

"There was a tinge of disappointment but that passed quickly, Ben's head is fully at Brighton and he wants to get cracking in the Premier League now."

Levack says White's decision to sign a contract extension with Brighton was influenced by the club's decision to offload fellow defenders Shane Duffy and Matt Clarke to Celtic and Derby on loan respectively.

"It dragged on for quite a long time, but I'm delighted for Ben that it got done," he added. "He deserves it. The main consideration for us was whether or not he was going to play.

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"On reflection, with the deal he's just signed, also the fact Brighton let Shane Duffy leave, Matt Clarke going to Derby, that shows the intent that Ben is going back there to play.

"That was the most important factor with Ben signing a new contract."

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The defender enjoyed a hugely successful season on loan at Leeds, playing in every Sky Bet Championship game to help the club win the league and earn promotion to the Premier League.

White formed a solid defensive partnership with Leeds captain Liam Cooper last term. He featured in all 46 of the club's Championship games, helping to produce 22 clean sheets.

He joined Brighton in 2014, graduating from the club's academy to make his senior debut in a 4-0 League Cup win over Colchester United in 2016.

Technical director Dan Ashworth believes Brighton's long-term plan for White remains on track.

preview image 2:22
There was a surprise for five-year-old Leeds fan Daniel Auton after Brighton turned down his bid to buy on-loan defender White with the £15.07 he had saved up in his piggy bank

"There has always been a strong belief in Ben at this football club, and his ability to play at this level of the game," Ashworth said. "This new contract is well deserved for Ben. He has worked incredibly hard, and has not been afraid of going out on loan. We have been delighted with his progress.

"Our academy and player loan department have done an excellent job to bring Ben through the club's younger teams, and then in helping to oversee his development while out on loan.

"He has played at almost every level of the professional game, and his development has been very well managed. His next challenge is to show his capabilities at the highest level of the domestic game."

Premier League ins and outs

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Who has your team signed? Who has been shipped out?

Check here for a comprehensive list of all the Premier League ins and outs from the 2020 summer transfer window, which opened on July 27 and closes on October 5.

Summer transfer window - key dates and times

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The summer transfer window will run for 10 weeks from July 27 and close at 11pm on October 5.

A domestic-only window for trades between the Premier League and EFL then runs from October 5 and closes on Friday October 16 at 5pm. Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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