White says Arsenal transfer rumours are 'nice' but Brighton defender doesn't talk to team-mates about future

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Ben White

Ben White has admitted that the rumours linking him with a switch to Arsenal are "nice", but the Brighton defender also claims that he doesn't talk to his team-mates about his future.

White has emerged as a primary target for Arsenal on the back of a sterling 2020-21 campaign at Brighton which saw him establish himself as one of the most important members of Graham Potter's squad.

Goal has reported that the two clubs are now close to agreeing a £50 million ($69m) deal, with the Gunners' first offer of £40m ($56m) for White having been rejected, and the 23-year-old has conceded that he is flattered by their interest.

What's been said?

“It’s nice, it’s happened quite a lot over the last two years, there’s been a lot of noise," The Brighton star told talkSPORT.

However, when asked if he talks to his colleagues in the Brighton squad or England camp about the potential Arsenal transfer, White responded: “Not really.

“You don’t know what’s true and what’s not. So there’s no real point talking about it.”

White's rapid rise 

White signed a new four-year deal with Brighton after returning from a loan spell at Leeds United last summer, having initially broken into the first team at Amex Stadium back in 2016.

The centre-back, who has also been loaned to Newport County and Peterborough, went on to feature in 36 of the Seagulls' 38 Premier League games in 2020-21, helping them comfortably avoid relegation.

White's performances earned him a call up to Gareth Southgate's England squad, and he made the final cut for the European Championships after Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold was sidelined through injury, but is still looking for his first minutes of the tournament ahead of a round of 16 clash against Germany.

White's early career doubts

White began his ascent towards the professional game at Southampton, but was released from their academy ranks at the age of 16 before being picked up by Brighton.

The England international says he had to be mentally strong to overcome that rejection and prove himself at the Amex, where he instantly felt that his talents were appreciated.

“When I was at Southampton I didn’t have any confidence,” he admitted. "The way I play now is with a lot of confidence. It’s the complete opposite of what I used to be.

“I think coming through Brighton, the coaches and the people really believed in me. I think you get that with playing and at Southampton I was on the sidelines a lot. But I went to Brighton and went straight into the team and played.

“It’s tough when you get released and you’re not wanted. Especially when you’re young, it’s hard to deal with. You either sink or swim, but for me I obviously wanted it a lot and it was the only thing I wanted at the time so I went for it.”

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