The Daily Mail have claimed that Sam Allardyce’s West Bromwich Albion have joined Celtic and Brentford in the race to sign Preston North End midfielder Ben Pearson – with the player’s contract expiring at the end of the season.
Pearson, 26, has become renowned as one of the Championship’s best defensive midfielders over the last five seasons – since he joined Preston in 2016. He has clocked up 165 appearances in all competitions for Alex Neil’s side.
But like Ben Davies, Pearson’s future at Deepdale is in doubt. He has not signed a new contract and is now expected to leave – whether Preston look to cash in in January or let him go for nothing in the summer, remains to be seen.
Celtic are interested in Pearson but have been joined in the race for the ex-Manchester United man by West Brom – as Allardyce looks to make signings that can keep the Baggies in the Premier League. Brentford are also keen.
TBR’s view – Celtic have key advantage, would cost them nothing
As aforementioned, Pearson’s contract ends in the summer and both West Brom and Brentford could nab the midfielder for nothing. But under the Bosman ruling, they cannot approach him until his deal enters its last month.
Non-English sides, though, can approach players in the same position as Pearson from January 1 – and Celtic fall into that category. It means they could secure a deal now on a pre-contract agreement, and get him in the summer.
It is a key advantage, but it is up in the air as to what Pearson’s plans are.