Brighton defender Ben White is reportedly set to reject overtures from anyone except Arsenal and hopes to secure a move to the Emirates before the start of the new season.
The 23-year-old has been linked with a switch to north London for some time after a stellar campaign for the Seagulls. The Poole-born ace enjoyed 36 Premier League starts for the south-coast outfit in 2020-2021. And he helped Graham Potter’s side finish 16th in the standings – 13 points above the relegation zone.
It was a season in which his stock rose considerably and the Gunners are not the only club keen on his services. Everton are thought to hold an interest and it was reported by The Daily Mail that their bid topped the one from Arsenal.
New Toffees manager Rafa Benitez is looking to strengthen his squad and White appears on the Spaniard’s wish-list. Nevertheless, the youngster’s future is in his own hands and The Express are suggesting his heart is set on the capital.
Manchester City entered the equation earlier this week, with rumours they want White to replace the unsettled Aymeric Laporte. There has been no response to those reports while Paris Saint-Germain are also considered as suitors.
PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino is said to be a huge admirer of the stopper. But Mikel Arteta looks to be leading the race for the former Leeds United loan man.
White witnessing England’s Euro 2020 heroics at close quarters
White was called up to the Thee Lions’ European Championship squad after an injury to Trent Alexander-Arnold. He made his England debut in warm-up matches against Austria and Romania.
But the centre-half has yet to kick a ball in anger at the tournament, with England now in the semi-finals. Saturday’s scintillating 4-0 triumph over Ukraine set up a last-four encounter with Denmark at Wembley.
With Harry Maguire now back in the side, White’s chances of seeing any game time has diminished further. But he remains ready to be called into action should Gareth Southgate need cover at the heart of his defence.
Recently asked about speculation regarding his future, the former Southampton youth player confessed it is like water off a duck’s back.
“It’s nice, it’s happened quite a lot over the last two years, there’s been a lot of noise,” he told talkSPORT. “You don’t know what’s true and what’s not. So there’s no real point talking about it.”