Soccer

Chelsea bidding to gazump Liverpool and Leeds in Ben White transfer race

Chelsea are looking to flex their financial muscle in the transfer race for Ben White by outbidding Liverpool and Leeds.

The Brighton defender could be on the move this summer after attracting interest from all three clubs.

Leeds have already had two bids for the player rejected after attempting to make his successful loan move permanent.

White has been used as a defensive midfielder at the newly-promoted side but favours a centre-back role.

Liverpool feel the 22-year-old would provide adequate cover for their regular back four after Dejan Lovren's departure, but Chelsea are keen on pipping them to his signature.

According to The Sun , Chelsea are prepared to spend in excess of Liverpool's £20million limit to complete a deal, which could blow their rivals out of the water.

Leeds have already had their highest offer of £22m knocked back but are preparing a fresh bid to tempt Brighton into a sale.

The Seagulls are intent on keeping hold of White though and have slapped a £40m price tag on his head – but that has not deterred Chelsea.

Frank Lampard has been given the green light to spend this summer, with Chelsea ready to break the £200m barrier having already landed Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.

A big concern for Lampard is sorting his defence and he is happy to let Antonio Rudiger go.

He is also targeting a move for Leicester's Ben Chilwell as a replacement for Marcos Alonso who is expected to move on.

West Ham's Declan Rice could also be used at the back if they can lure him to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea chiefs are still in negotiations with Bayer Leverkusen over forward Kai Havertz who is said to have provisionally agreed a five-year deal.

All that remains to be determined is a fee between the clubs, with Chelsea confident they can reach an agreement some time in the coming weeks.

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