Latest from Preston North End boss Alex Neil on Celtic's interest in Ben Davies

Preston North End manager Alex Neil admits to being a little in the dark over Celtic’s interest in Ben Davies and whether they want to sign him now or in the summer.

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 12:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 1:07 pm

Celtic notified PNE via email on Tuesday evening that they intended speaking to Davies about a pre-contract agreement which could see move to Parkhead in the summer on a Bosman.

With Davies in the last six months of his contract, he can speak to clubs outside England about a move at the end of the season.

Reports in Scotland suggest that Celtic might in fact try to buy the central defender during this window,

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Preston North End centre-half Ben Davies

That might be because they fear missing out on Davies should bids come in from other clubs before Monday’s transfer deadline.

Neil has not spoken with Davies about Celtic’s interest specifically but has talked to him regularly about his general position.

At this stage, Neil believes 25-year-old Davies will see his contract through to the end of the season.

However, he acknowledges that things could change very quickly with the deadline coming up.

PNE defender Ben Davies with North End manager Alex Neil

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Neil told the Lancashire Post: “I haven’t really heard anything (about Celtic) apart from what was in the paper.

“Ben hasn’t said a word to me about it. He has been good all the way through, this has only just appeared.

“As far as I’m aware from the discussions I’ve had before with Ben, he has so far committed to certainly being here to at least the end of the season.

“That has been the discussion I’ve had to this point, naturally that is subject to change but I’ve not been made aware of any change.

“I’m not in control of this situation so it is a hard question for me to answer.

“I could say, ‘Yes, he will be here until the end of the season’ and then he leaves tonight and I look silly.”

A move to Celtic could well appeal to Davies in terms of it providing the possibility of playing in Europe.

It could also be something of a shop window move too, with Premier League clubs having previously signed players from Celtic.

However, the standard of the Scottish Premiership is often questioned south of the border.

Davies might want to wait until after the close of the window to see if other offers come in rather than plunge in now and sign a pre-contract agreement which would take effect from July 1.

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