Sergio Ramos left ‘really impressed’ by Arsenal’s £50million transfer target

Sergio Ramos was "really impressed" by Arsenal target Ben White during his loan spell at Newport County, says Leeds director of football Victor Orta.

White is the subject of serious interest from Arsenal in the summer transfer window, with Brighton reportedly turning down an offer worth £50million for the defender.

Mikel Arteta is keen to add another centre-back to his Gunners ranks ahead of David Luiz's departure upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the month.

And it appears White, who is currently away on international duty with England at Euro 2020, is his top defensive target.

The 23-year-old has only spent one season in the Premier League, featuring 36 times for Brighton this season following a loan spell in the Championship with Leeds.

Before that, he enjoyed loan stints with League One's Peterborough and League Two's Newport – where Orta claims Real Madrid legend Ramos spotted his talent.

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Speaking about White's loan at Leeds, Orta said on the Phil Hay Show: "He was the best player this year, if not the best, top five. For me the best. Now he’s in the England squad.

"Ben White didn't play one game in the Championship before.

"The loan at Newport was really good and when we started to monitor because we were watching, to be honest, I felt impressed.

"I remember in the first moment Sergio Ramos said, ‘who is this kid? playing in the line of Newport’. And was really impressed.

“Even at Brighton [people said], ‘he’s soft, he cannot play in the Championship’.

"But we think the skills he has fit for us, in terms of distribution, quick – all the style of our special centre-backs."

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Brighton are understood to be holding firm on their £50million-plus valuation for White after rejecting an offer worth £45million plus £5million in add-ons from Arsenal.

The Gunners have now seen two bids turned down, having failed with an opening offer of £40million plus £5million in add-ons.

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