Chelsea: The first six fixtures of the 2021/22 Premier League
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Chelsea have made contact with Brighton defender Ben White regarding a move to Stamford Bridge, according to reports. Arsenal have already seen a bid of around £40million turned down by Brighton for White. Everton and Manchester City are also linked with the England international.
White impressed in his first full season in the Premier League last term.
Brighton rejected offers from Leeds United last summer following the centre-back’s successful spell at Elland Road in their promotion campaign out of the Championship.
And it appears the Seagulls have an even tougher task to keep hold of the 23-year-old ahead of the upcoming campaign.
Arsenal are widely reported to be in advanced talks to sign White.
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However, speaking on Reach PLC’s Transfer Window podcast, Duncan Castles says Chelsea have now made their interest known to the player.
Castles says the Blues are set to provide “significant competition” to the Gunners for White’s signature.
“We’ve told you there’s been interest and a conversation with Manchester City,” Castles said.
“I now understand that Chelsea have notified the player of their interest in signing him.
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“I think that’s significant competition for Arsenal because Chelsea obviously can offer Champions League football, can offer a club based in London in the same way that Arsenal can, but one that should be immediately competitive for the Premier League title, and one that hasn’t had much hesitation about spending aggressively of Ben White’s profile and age range.
“I think on previous podcasts we suggested that once serious offers started to come in for White, it is likely that other clubs would get involved in a competitive bidding process.
“And I think a competitive bidding process is obviously going to be of benefit to Brighton.”
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace star Andros Townsend is a huge fan of White and believes whichever club he ends up at will have a big talent on their hands.
“Even before he played for England, I knew Ben White was a top player,” Townsend told talkSPORT.
“I’m surprised he wasn’t in the original England squad because I think he’s the perfect player that Gareth [Southgate] wants. He’s calm and composed on the ball, he can play out from the back.
“When we played Brighton I was tasked with marking him, trying to close him down, press high up the pitch and get close to him, but I couldn’t get near him.
“He’s so composed on the ball, I was putting my best work in, trying to get close and put him under pressure, but before I could get to him he’d popped it off and they were out.
“If this deal goes over the line, I know Arsenal are getting a top player. Maybe not as a leader, no, but I know the way Mikel Arteta likes to play.
“And Ben White, maybe not vocally but definitely technically, he’d fit in perfectly with the way they want to build up from the back.”
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