Ben White: Brighton reject £40m transfer bid from Arsenal for England international defender

Brighton have rejected a £40m bid from Arsenal for defender Ben White.

Talks are ongoing between the two clubs.

Arsenal are expected to go back with an improved offer for the 23-year-old centre-back, who made 36 Premier League appearances for Brighton this season after spending the 2019-20 season on loan at Leeds.

White impressed as Brighton survived relegation and finished 16th in the Premier League with the joint-best defence in the bottom half of the league (46 goals conceded).

White earned his first England call-up in May when he was named in Gareth Southgate’s provisional 33-man squad for Euro 2020.

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He was one of seven players cut from the squad on June 1, but later replaced Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Arsenal are looking to bolster their defence after finishing eighth in the Premier League and missing out on European football for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

Last season, Gabriel, Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, and Rob Holding were the most-used players in the middle as Arsenal conceded the third-fewest league goals behind only Manchester City and Chelsea.

Arsenal fixtures 2021/22: Gunners start with Bees & Chelsea

Arsenal will start their 2021/22 Premier League campaign away at newcomers Brentford on Saturday August 14.

Mikel Arteta’s side, who finished a disappointing eighth in the Premier League table, then have a London derby at the Emirates against European champions Chelsea on August 21, before going to current champions Manchester City on August 28.

Arsenal’s first north London derby comes on the weekend of September 25 at home to Tottenham, while the return fixture will be on the weekend of January 15 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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