A new suitor has emerged in the race for Preston North End defender Ben Davies, with Belgian club Genk the latest side to be considering an offer, according to Football Insider.
There has been considerable interest in the 25-year-old since the summer, with Celtic, Sheffield United and Leicester all reportedly tracking his progress at Deepdale since then.
North End are in a precarious position, as Davies along with other key players such as Ben Pearson, Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson are all out of contract at the end of the current season.
That means with transfer windows open across the footballing world now, non-English clubs can make ‘pre-contract’ offers for any of those players, which could see them leave the Lilywhites for absolutely nothing.
With finances tough amongst Football League clubs right now and Trevor Hemmings bankrolling North End’s losses, PNE could be willing to listen to offers for Davies, who is thought to want a new challenge away from the club he has been at since the age of 11.
That is where Genk – who sit second in the Belgian First Division – come into the equation, as Football Insider believe they hold an interest in Davies should they fail to land their first target in MLS defender Mark McKenzie.
Celtic are still lurking in regards to a transfer, but a move away from the British isles may intrigue Davies, who had Bundesliga clubs Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen reportedly watching him earlier this year.
Left-footed centre backs are a hot commodity and Davies is thought to be one of the top ones in his position in England’s second tier, hence the demand for his services.
According to whispers around the club, North End seem resigned to losing Davies at some point, and it may now be better to try and get a fee for him if he doesn’t have any interest in signing the contract that is on offer to him.
It could be a really long January for both Preston fans and their owner with the amount of key players that could leave, but the feeling is that the supporters need to be realistic and perhaps accept that one or two may be cashed in on in the next month.