It is “not looking likely” that Sheffield United will sign in-demand Preston North End centre-back Ben Davies with Celtic among the other sides in pursuit, according to journalist Alan Nixon.
The 25-year-old has been a mainstay in the Preston side since the start of the 2017/18 campaign but with his contract set to expire in the summer, he finds himself in the middle of a January tug of war.
The Blades, Celtic, Genk, Bournemouth, and Udinese have all been touted with an interest in the central defender, with the Deepdale outfit thought to be ready to accept offers in the region of £5 million if he doesn’t sign the club-record deal offered to him before the end of the month.
A move across the Pennines to Bramall Lane could be off the cards, however, with Nixon reporting that it is “not looking likely” that United will sign him this month.
Chris Wilder has raided the Championship for signings in the past and certainly is in need of adding some quality at the moment, with the Blades bottom of the Premier League and having taken two points from 17 games.
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This is good news from a Preston perspective.
Davies could have been an excellent addition for the Blades and a cost-effective signing but Nixon is reliable when it comes to transfer updates, so it seems the chances of a move are low now.
That’s a boost for the other sides in pursuit, particularly Celtic who may feel that with a Premier League unlikely they’re the most appealing destination.
Alternatively, Preston may feel more confident of holding onto him if a move to Bramall Lane is off the table.
Joining the Hoops, Championship rivals Bournemouth, Belgian side Genk or Serie A outfit Udinese will likely still be appealing but they won’t have the same draw as the English top-flight and that might just convince him to stay put for the time being.