Chelsea look set to hijack Liverpool’s potential swoop for Brighton ace Ben White. Frank Lampard has identified the former Leeds United loanee as the man to plug the leakiest defence in the top half of the Premier League.
Chelsea are turning their attention to strengthening at the back after completing deals for Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner.
White has emerged on the radar after a brilliant season with Championship winners Leeds.
The 22-year-old was an ever present for Marcelo Bielsa, who is likely to miss out on a permanent deal due to the mounting interest.
Liverpool are set to launch a £20million bid after selling Dejan Lovren to Zenit St-Petersburg.
Chelsea are prepared to trump their offer, however, after setting their sights on White.
When asked if White is ready for the top flight, Potter replied: “Absolutely, 100 per cent.
“He’s our player, he’s got a long contract with us. I have known Ben for a while, I have been aware of him, wanted to try and sign him when we were at Swansea.
“I know about his qualities. He’s a fantastic player. He’s done brilliantly at Leeds and helped them get promotion – that’s fantastic for them, fantastic for him – but he’s our player and we’re looking forward to working with him.
“He complements us really well. He’s got attributes that are really, really useful and he’s going to be a top player.”
According to the Daily Star Sunday, Chelsea will not be deterred by the valuation.
Lampard is prepared to wield the axe in an attempt to improve his defence, with Antonio Rudiger set to be sold.
The Germany international has failed to win over the Chelsea boss and last weekend’s wretched performance in the FA Cup final could prove to be the final straw.
Rudiger has two years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge so it could be the final opportunity to extract maximum value from a sale.