Chelsea and Liverpool involved as West Brom defender pursuit takes a turn

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West Bromwich Albion’s chances of landing Brighton defender Shane Duffy appear to have suffered a major setback.The clubs have started talks about a move to the Hawthorns.

Brighton are currently open to offers from the Republic of Ireland international, but that position is likely to change if the club are forced to part ways with coveted center-back Ben White.

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bilelsa wants the 22-year-old to return to Elland Road, having excelled on loan last quarter, and has already had two offers rejected.

Premier League champions Liverpool have been credited with a keen interest in White, widely regarded as the league’s best defender last season.

And now Chelsea have reportedly thrown their hat in the ring for the former Southampton intern.

The Sun claim Frank Lampard is also a big fan and the Blues will make it a three-way battle for White’s signing.

Not only that, they say Chelsea are willing to spend around £ 40million to land White, which is nearly double Leeds’ second £ 22million offer.

Brighton has an abundance of center-back options with new signing Joel Veltman complimenting Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster, Graham Potter’s top couple last season.

But Potter, who made 47 appearances for the Baggies between 1997 and 2000, won’t allow Duffy and White to leave unless he can field another center-back to bring his total to four.

Baggies boss Slaven Bilic believes Duffy can add the aggressiveness and Premier League experience his bottom line will need next season.

But if a replacement for Duffy, who is also attracting interest from West Ham, does not emerge and White almost inevitably leaves, Bilic may have to look elsewhere.

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