Leeds United are ready to put all their eggs into the signing of Ben White after seeing one of their potential defensive targets sign for QPR.
Yoann Barbet, the 25-year-old Brentford defender, had emerged as one player Marcelo Bielsa was pondering a swoop for, until the Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa identified Brighton’s White as his preferred target.
And any hopes Leeds had of signing Barbet were extinguished on Tuesday night as the 26-year-old signed for QPR on a three-year deal after switching across London on a free transfer.
“I’m really excited for this new challenge. QPR is a massive club, with a big history. I will give everything” Barbet told QPR’s official website.
Barbet says he chose to join the R’s because of manager Mark Warburton, admitting: “The manager made the difference for me. When you have a manager who wants you, it is always good.”
— Queens Park Rangers FC (@QPR) June 18, 2019
TEAMtalk understands that Leeds never actually made a move for Barbet with Bielsa and the club’s director of football Victor Orta instead trying to convince Brighton to allow White to leave.
The 21-year-old is yet to feature for the club since their promotion to the Premier League and while Leeds are hoping to convince the Seagulls to sell the player, it is understood Graham Potter only wants a loan deal only.
Talks are continuing between the two clubs, but Leeds will hope the deal will get done one way or another as they seek cover and competition for first-choice defenders Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson.
White is one of three main targets for Leeds, the others being Wolves attacker Helder Costa and Jack Harrison of Manchester City. The 22-year-old Harrison spent the entire 2018/19 season at Elland Road and Leeds have already declared their intentions with Pep Guardiola’s side over a return to Yorkshire for the winger.
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