Quality central defenders are worth their weight in gold to Premier League sides and few have found themselves as in demand as Brighton’s Ben White in recent months.
White rose to prominence during a hugely impressive loan spell at Leeds last season, playing every single minute of the club’s promotion-winning campaign in the Championship before being handed his opportunity with Brighton.
The 23-year-old has handled the step up a division in fine fashion to become a cornerstone of the Seagulls’ defence, his performances having once again raised speculation regarding his future with a number of leading sides reportedly monitoring his progress.
With the winter window looming next month, White looks set to be one of the most in-demand defenders in January.
So for those you who like the follow the latest odds on the best betting sites like nostrabet.com, here are the four favourites to sign the Brighton star:
Manchester City – 33/1
Manchester City are regarded as 33/1 outsiders to secure the signing of the centre-back, with the club’s defensive solidity having been a concern during a disappointing title defence last season.
Pep Guardiola moved to address his side’s issues with the signings of Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias during the summer transfer window, the latter having quickly become an important figure in an impressive adaptation to the Premier League since signing from Benfica.
City possess depth at centre-back and Aymeric Laporte remains one of the division’s best despite falling out-of-favour of late, whilst the recent resurgence of John Stones makes an imminent move for White appear unlikely.
The uncertainty surrounding Eric Garcia’s future could result in the club entering the market with the defender out-of-contract next summer and keen on a return to Barcelona, though City appear well-stocked defensively.
Manchester United – 25/1
Manchester United are considered more likely than their city rivals to seal White’s signing, with the Red Devils having been unconvincing at centre-back with both Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof having come in for criticism and a host of alternatives unwanted or out-of-favour.
White would represent the kind of profile that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has often sought since taking charge of the club two years ago, an emerging British talent with room to develop and improve further at Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old’s poise in possession would be a welcome addition to the club’s backline, with speculation this week emerging that the youngster has been added to a shortlist of targets ahead of the January transfer window, with the likes of Phil Jones and Eric Bailly tipped for the exit door.
White may already feel ready to test himself at a higher level after just half a season in Brighton’s first-team, a move to Manchester United offering the star a chance to step up and the prospect of regular first-team football.
Leed United – 25/1
White’s performances on loan at Leeds saw the club desperately attempt to secure his signing on a permanent basis following promotion, seeing several offers – the latter believed to be worth £25m – rejected by a Brighton side unprepared to strengthen a potential relegation rival.
Leeds turned to alternative targets and secured the signings of Robin Koch and Diego Llorente, both players arriving with burgeoning reputations as fully-fledged internationals with Germany and Spain respectively.
Koch has endured an indifferent start before suffering a knee injury against Chelsea that will see the 24-year-old sidelined until March, whilst Llorente only made his debut in the same fixture due to injury problems and has now suffered another setback.
Leeds’ lack of options could see the club revive their interest in White during next month’s window, but having spent just shy of £100m upon their return to the Premier League it remains to be seen whether they have the funds to prise the centre-back away from the Amex Stadium, or whether there is any change in Brighton’s summer stance.
Liverpool – 9/2
Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move for a new centre-back during the winter window, having seen first-choice duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez ruled out for the majority of the season with serious knee injuries.
The loss of Van Dijk and Gomez comes after the club opted not to sign a replacement for Dejan Lovren following his summer sale to Zenit St Petersburg, leaving Joel Matip as the sole senior option in central defence.
Jurgen Klopp has chosen to utilise Fabinho in an unfamiliar centre-back role and the Brazilian has impressed in the deeper position, whilst youngsters Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips have been handed opportunities so far this season.
Liverpool are known admirers of White’s talents though have some reservations over his aerial ability and stature, though the Reds are understood to be keen on adding a centre-back to their squad.
Whether that move comes in January or next summer remains to be seen, but the injury history of Matip and lack of experienced cover means the acquisition of a defender next month is a real possibility for the Premier League champions.