Chelsea ‘hoping to trump Liverpool’ in race for £20m Brighton defender Ben White with Frank Lampard ‘hoping to get rid of Antonio Rudiger’ to fund move for Englishman
- Ben White has interest from both Chelsea and Liverpool after Leeds loan spell
- The defender helped Marcelo Bielsa’s side earn Premier League promotion
- The 22-year-old could cost more than £20m with Brighton unwilling to sell him
Chelsea are reportedly keen to gazump Premier League rivals Liverpool in the hunt for Brighton defender Ben White.
The Blues are focused on rebuilding a defence which has proven shaky this term despite earning a top four place to qualify for the Champions League.
Defensive frailties were exposed on Saturday night when Frank Lampard’s side were put to the sword in a 4-1 defeat at Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16, resulting in a 7-1 aggregate loss.
Ben White starred for Leeds United in the Championship last term on loan from Brighton
Frank Lampard has now turned his attention to White, who spent last season at Leeds United on loan from the AMEX Stadium.
Liverpool have also been tracking the 22-year-old, with Jurgen Klopp wanting back up to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip following the £11million sale of Dejan Lovren to Zenit.
According to The Sun, the Blues are ready to outbid Liverpool for White, with the Reds ready to pay around £20million for his services.
Having already spent £90m on summer arrivals Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, with a prospective £90m move for Kai Havertz also in the pipeline, Lampard would need to sell to finance the move for the defender.
The defender (centre) helped Leeds United earn promotion back to the Premier League
Chelsea are hoping to fund a move worth over £20m but will have to offload Antonio Rudiger
Reports suggest the Blues’ hunt for White would involve ‘ditching Antonio Rudiger in the process’, although Lampard is said to be unconvinced by many of his defenders including Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma.
White was part of a Leeds term that sealed promotion to the top flight last term.
However the Premier League returnees, after an absence of 16 years, have had two bids turned down from the south coast side and will be unlikely to financially go toe-to-toe with Chelsea or Liverpool.
Brighton boss Graham Potter is keen to hold onto the centre back who can also play in midfield.
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