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…
Celtic are plotting a transfer move for Preston North End centre-back Ben Davies in January, with his price-tag set to plummet, according to Football Insider.
The 25-year-old is valued at £10m at Preston and attracted interest from Neil Lennon’s side throughout the summer, however a deal never materialised.
But, Football Insider claim that his valuation will fall in January as a result of there being no agreement on a contract extension for the player whose current deal with the Lilywhites expires next summer.
So, what do you make of this situation? Can you see Preston offloading in the new year amid Celtic’s continued interest?
The team here at FLW take a look….
I could certainly see this happening.
Preston are obviously not going to want to lose such an important player, but with Davies’ contract expiring at the end of the season, you feel this one is almost done to where the player wants to be as to whether or not this gets done.
Should Davies decide a move to Celtic is right for him, then it is possible he will sign a new deal at Deepdale to force through a move, and Preston may well be advised to let him go for a reduced fee in January, then they actually get something for him then, rather than lose him on a pre-contract agreement at that point, or see him leave for nothing when his deal expires in the summer.
As a result, the size of Celtic, and the fact they regularly challenge for trophies domestically and feature in European football, must be a concern for Preston, considering the appeal that a move there must surely hold for Davies as a result of all that.
Yes, it seems nailed on.
If Davies doesn’t sign a new contract at Deepdale, which seems as though it will be the case, then Celtic know they can sign him on a free next summer, so a small fee in January for the player would suit all parties.
With Shane Duffy only on loan at Parkhead and long-term doubts over Kristoffer Ajer’s future, Neil Lennon needs a new centre-back and Davies would be a smart signing. He should suit Celtic’s style and the chance of European football will surely appeal.
This would be a blow for Preston as you don’t want to lose your best players on the cheap but it’s the risk you run when you let a player run their contract down. If North End are in the mix for promotion come January then they should stand firm and risk him going for free. If not, a January deal seems inevitable.
I can definitely see this happening.
Davies has been a quality player for Preston for a couple of years now. He has made huge strides of improvement under Alex Neil since returning from a loan spell at Fleetwood, and he is now one of the best ball-playing defenders in the Championship.
Preston have a real dilemma on their hands, though. With Davies out of contract at the end of this season, they are reportedly looking to tie him down to a new deal, but if they are unable to do so, then they don’t want to leave it too late in the transfer window.
They could potentially lose him for nothing next summer if a new deal can’t be agreed, and for a player of his quality and potential, that would be criminal.
They won’t want to sell him, but as soon as they see any early signs of the player not wanting to extend his stay at Deepdale, then they should look to receive some sort of fee for the player.