Celtic are desperately trying to bring Preston North End’s Ben Davies to the club in the next 24 hours rather than on a pre-contract agreement, according to Football Insider.
The site claims that the two clubs are locked in advanced talks for the 25-year-old, although if they cannot agree on a fee then Davies will probably still sign a deal to take him to Glasgow in the summer.
Speaking after North End’s 1-0 loss against Sheffield Wednesday – a game in which Davies started – Alex Neil sounded confident of keeping his star defender until the end of the current campaign.
“I fully expect Ben to be here until the end of the season,” Neil told the Lancashire Post.
“I think you could see today he was dedicated. For most of the game he was excellent.”
After Celtic’s humiliating home loss to St. Mirren yesterday though, Neil Lennon seems more desperate than ever to bolster his squad to make sure they secure second position, with Rangers seemingly already out of reach.
Quiz: Did each of these 18 ex-Preston North End players ever score a goal at Deepdale?
They’d have to pay some kind of fee to North End to take him before the deadline shuts at 11pm tomorrow, and PNE may feel that it is too late in the window to lose Davies as they’d have to seek out a left-footed centre-back to take his place.
Celtic do have funds to spend though following Jeremie Frimpong’s move to Bayer Leverkusen, which netted the Hoops over £10 million.
Preston officials will be in a real catch 22 situation in regards to Davies.
They will not mind him staying until the end of the season as he is such a good talent, and there’s not many left-footed centre-backs around with his skill set.
But there will be the temptation that they could get a bit of cash for a player that will leave for free anyway in a few months, and that could go towards a new player who will be at Deepdale for the next few years.