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Report: Celtic on verge of breakthrough for ‘terrific’ Premier League-tipped defender

Stoke City v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

Celtic

Report: Celtic on verge of breakthrough for ‘terrific’ Premier League-tipped defender

Celtic are reportedly closing in on a pre-contract agreement to sign Preston’s Ben Davies in the summer, according to Sky Sports.

The Hoops were first linked with the 25-year-old last summer as his contract at the English club entered its final 12 months.

With Davies’ contract now in its final six months, the player is free to speak to non-English clubs about signing for free once his current deal expires.

Preston North End v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

And according to Sky Sports, talks between Celtic and the player are said to be progressing well and at an advanced stage.

Davies has also been linked with Premier League strugglers Sheffield United and Championship playoff hopefuls Bournemouth.

The Englishman, a left-footed centre-back who can also play at left-back, is a product of Preston’s academy.

 

He enjoyed numerous loan spells in the EFL prior to breaking into the Lilywhites’ first-team on a regular basis during the 2017-18 season.

Davies has played 18 games in the Championship this season, with Alex Neil’s side currently six points adrift of the playoff places.

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Celtic are in dire need of bolstering their ranks given the way this season has panned out, not to mention the potential of players leaving Parkhead in the summer.

Davies has shown he’s a cut above in the English second tier and it’s little surprise that he’s now being linked with a step up – indeed, it’s surprising it’s taken this long.

Former Preston boss Graham Westley had tipped the defender for a big move as early as 2013, when he was just 17 and had made his Lilywhites debut against Walsall.

“I expect George Boyd in this window or the next to move to the Premier League, and I’m not embarrassed to say that Ben has the same sort of potential,” he is quoted by LFE as saying.

“He got himself up and running as the game went on and was calm and composed. That was a terrific debut.”

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