COVETED centre-back Ben White has disappointed a host of suitors by signing a new four-year deal with Brighton.

Former Newport County AFC loan star White excelled last season on loan at Leeds, and the Elland Road club have tried all summer to sign the 22-year-old on a permanent deal.

A clutch of other Premier League clubs had also been closely monitoring White’s situation, but boss Graham Potter has long since insisted Brighton want to integrate him into their top-flight plans this term.

White has signed improved terms at the Amex Stadium running until 2024, leaving the Seagulls delighted to secure the talented defender’s long-term future.

“I have been looking forward to working with Ben for a long time; he was a player I was well aware of, even before I came to the club,” said Potter.

“He has gradually stepped up the EFL divisions, with Newport, Peterborough and Leeds.

“He had a brilliant season helping Leeds to the title last season, and now he has the opportunity to show his qualities in the Premier League.

“We are delighted to have agreed a new long-term contract with him, and I am sure our supporters will be looking forward to watching him play for the club.”

White made 42 appearances during the 2017/18 season for Newport County AFC.

Most memorably, he started the shock FA Cup victory over then-Championship side Leeds Utd.

The game finished 2-1 to County and saw the Exiles handed a tough fixture in the next round against Tottenham Hotspur.

White also started the fourth round clash, facing off against superstar striker and England captain Harry Kane.

Newport County earned a creditable 1-1 draw, with Spurs leaving it late to grab the equaliser and take the tie back to their temporary home of Wembley.

White was praised for his performance against Spurs’ talismanic front man.

On March, 15, 2018, White won the South Wales Argus Player of The Year Award for Newport County for the 2017–18 season.

At the awards ceremony, manager Michael Flynn described White as “the best loan signing the club has ever made.”

Until recently, White had been turning heads in the Championship, playing for the very side he had helped County overcome years earlier.

His performances for Leeds Utd had suitors lining up - even reports of interest from Premier League champions Liverpool.

He scored his only goal for Leeds in the last game of his loan spell in a 4–0 victory against Charlton Athletic, which was ultimately voted Goal of the Month for July.