This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Preston are reportedly keen to hold onto Ben Davies in the January transfer window, and will reject any incoming bids for his services according to Football Insider.
The defender has previously been attracting interest from the likes of West Ham United, Sheffield United and Scottish giants Celtic, although a move has failed to materialise.
Davies is out-of-contract at the end of the 2020/21 season though, which has seen interest in the defender rise heading into the New Year.
But Preston North End have reportedly offered him a new long-term contract, although Davies is believed to be keeping his options open at this moment in time.
He has made five appearances for Alex Neil’s side this term, and has recently been sidelined through injury, as Preston look to challenge for a top-six finish this term in the Championship.
But are Preston making the right decision in not accepting any offers for Davies in the January transfer window?
It’s a fine line that they need to tread.
They’re obviously at risk of losing out on a decent windfall but, at the same time, if they still feel a deal can be struck it makes sense to try and hold out for as long as possible.
They need to establish just what the player is thinking of doing at the moment, though, and I am sure those conversations are well underway.
I could see there being some sort of development either way fairly soon as we’re getting close to pre-contract territory now.
I’m not sure it is worth Preston selling him for the money they will get given his contract situation.
Davies is a player that’s worth £10m+ with a decent contract behind him and with just months left on his deal, Preston are going to be lucky to get a fifth of that this winter.
Is it really worth cashing in for a few million? I don’t think it is when you consider how important Davies could be during the second-half of the campaign.
Of course, you don’t want to keep him against his will, but I can’t see much benefit in Preston taking a cut-price deal. They are better off keeping hold of the centre-back and trying to negotiate something.
Can you score full marks in this Preston quiz about the club’s former strikers?
Preston are certainly playing a risky game here.
While Ben Davies is clearly a key player for Alex Neil at Deepdale they have to think about the long-term future of the club.
With a contract that’s due to expire next summer it seems highly unlikely that the player is going to extend his deal. That means that Preston have a decision to make.
Keeping him at the club until next summer may have short-term gains, but surely the club would be better off attracting a fee while they could. That could then be reinvested for the future.
Given the lack of funds in the game right now it seems like selling him in the sensible call, particularly when the prospect of promotion is as far away as it is now.