Leeds could move for Manchester City youngster Taylor Harwood-Bellis if Liverpool scupper their attempts to sign Brighton defender Ben White on a permanent deal.
The on-loan White enjoyed an outstanding season at Elland Road as Marcelo Bielsa’s men returned to the Premier League as champions.
But those performances also caught the eye of title winners Liverpool. And the Reds have room for another central defender after letting Dejan Lovren move to Zenit St Petersburg.
It means Leeds face a double battle. Even if they persuade Brighton to sell, Liverpool could outbid them as Jurgen Klopp looks to boost his backline.
While Virgil van Dijk played every minute of Liverpool’s march to the title, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez have both suffered time out with injury.
The Liverpool Echo report that White was scouted extensively by the Premier League champions during his loan spell at Leeds. And his versatility could add extra appeal as White can play at right-back or as a defensive midfielder.
Journalist Phil Hay believes that, in the circumstances, Leeds should be acting quickly to find a back-up if White doesn’t continue his time at Elland Road.
And The Athletic journalist says Manchester City could be the place to look.
Hay said: “One player who was mentioned to me this week was 18-year-old Taylor Harwood-Bellis at Manchester City, although I can’t say if Leeds would actually go for him.
“In our sensible transfers piece, we picked out two defenders at Swansea this season — Ben Wilmot and Ben Cabagno — as options whose attributes on paper draw reasonable comparisons to White’s.
“But when you speak to Leeds, they’re only talking about White. They’re going to try to make that happen.”
Harwood-Bellis has yet to make a Premier League start for City but has featured four times in cup competitions.
Potter keen to keep White
Despite sending White out on loan, Brighton boss Graham Potter has revealed that the player is still highly regarded at the Amex.
Speaking last month, Potter said: “It’s fantastic he’s had this year with Leeds.
“I think everybody won. Ben got some great experience, Leeds achieved their goal of promotion.
“But we rate him highly. We like him a lot. He’s a really good player and thankfully he’s our player.”
“He’ll be competing for a place like everyone else.”