White extends Brighton contract to 2024 amid Leeds interest

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Championship - Swansea City v Leeds United - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - July 12, 2020. Leeds United's Ben White in action with Swansea City's Rhian Brewster, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Action Images/Peter Cziborra

(Reuters) - Brighton & Hove Albion have extended defender Ben White’s contract with the English centre back signing a four-year deal until 2024, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

White spent last season on loan at Leeds United and played every minute of their Championship campaign as he helped the Yorkshire club get promoted to the Premier League as champions.

British media reported last month that Leeds had multiple bids to sign the 22-year-old on a permanent basis rejected as Brighton boss Graham Potter plans to make him an integral part of the squad this season.

"I have been looking forward to working with Ben for a long time," Potter said in a statement here. "He was a player I was well aware of, even before I came to the club.

“He had a brilliant season helping Leeds to the title last season and now he has the opportunity to show his qualities in the Premier League.

“We are delighted to have agreed a new long-term contract with him and I’m sure our supporters will be looking forward to watching him play for the club.”

White’s extension follows that of centre back and captain Lewis Dunk, who signed a new contract until 2025 last month, as Brighton look to improve on a 15th-placed finish last season.

The south-coast club begin the new campaign at home to Chelsea on Sept. 14.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by ken Ferris