Arsenal target Ben White impressed Sergio Ramos during his loan spell at Newport County, according to Leeds director of football Victor Orta.
Arsenal is apparently interested in signing White in the summer transfer window, with Brighton reportedly rejecting a £50 million bid for the defender.
Mikel Arteta is keen to bolster his Arsenal defence ahead of David Luiz’s exit at the end of the month when his contract expires.
White, who is currently on international duty with England at Euro 2020, appears to be his primary defensive goal.
After a loan spell in the Championship with Leeds, the 23-year-old has only spent one season in the Premier League, appearing 36 times for Brighton this season.
Prior to that, he had loan spells with League One Peterborough and League Two Newport, where he believes Real Madrid icon Sergio Ramos noticed his potential.
Orta stated on the Phil Hay Show about White’s loan to Leeds: “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.”
After rejecting an offer of £45 million plus £5 million in add-ons from Arsenal, Brighton are said to be sticking to their £50 million value for White.