Celtic aren’t just looking at one Preston North End player to sign on a pre-contract deal. No, Ben Davies is not alone, with Deepdale favourite Ben Pearson also casting glances elsewhere.

The duo’s contracts both run out in the summer. With Celtic looking to bolster their options, centre-back Davies makes perfect sense for the Bhoys.

Pearson, who has made 165 appearances for Alex Neil’s Preston (Transfermarkt), came through the youth ranks at Manchester United (Deepdale Digest).

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Watford v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship

Celtic target Ben Pearson battles against Watford / (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Preston expert gives low-down on Celtic target Pearson

 

67 Hail Hail spoke to our colleague Olly Dawes at Deepdale Digest, who filled us in on the feisty midfield battler.

“He’s been our most important player for about 4 years now. He’s mostly played as a holding midfielder under Alex Neil. [He is] our most composed player on the ball, all the attacks start through him.

“It’s a shame that it looks like he’s going, because he’ll be very hard to replace.

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“There is a part of me that’s a little surprised no Premier League team has come in for him yet. There’s been interest from Burnley and West Brom but nothing’s come to fruition.”

Pearson has established himself as a tough-tackling, argumentative midfielder. Comparisons could be made to Scott Brown; the midfielder likes to make robust challenges and wind up opposition players.

Dawes went on:

“The thing that would hold him back from being a Premier League regular is his disciplinary record. It’s improved this season, but usually you’re looking at 15 yellow cards a season, and a couple of reds.

 

“It’s from stupid challenges, getting into fights or arguing with the referee.

“Premier League teams have maybe looked at him and asked ‘can we rely on him through the course of a season?’

“It’s a weird one, he just loves trying to wind people up. His tackling can look bad, but he’s got a reputation now. It’s not a huge surprise that Celtic are looking at him, because the comparison to Scott Brown is quite an easy one to make.

 

Preston North End v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship

Pearson v Rooney in the Championship / (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Preston’s bad contract timing

Pearson, Davies and others, including ex-Celt Darnell Fisher, are available on a Bosman this summer. We asked Dawes what was going on at the Deepdale.

He said:

“[Preston have] tried to keep contracts rolling on and on. Pearson signed a new one two years ago.

“[The club] didn’t feel that we needed to make the play-offs or go up to keep them beyond the last contracts they signed.

“They can earn more money elsewhere. They know that Preston aren’t going to push the boat out, because the club don’t have the money to do it.

“If Ben Pearson can go and play in Europe for Celtic, why wouldn’t he?”

 

 

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