Preston North End manager Alex Neil is “99% sure none of his players will leave before deadline-day after Celtic’s reported interest in Ben Davies.
The Daily Record said last month that Celtic were keeping track of Davies whilst Bournemouth had a £5million offer for his services rejected.
The Hoops have strengthened their rearguard with the acquisition of Brighton defender Shane Duffy on a season-long loan deal this summer. However, Sky Sports’ Anthony Joseph believes that they will add another centre-back to the squad if an opportunity arises today.
But that doesn’t look like being Preston’s Davies after Neil’s latest comments.
As quoted by the Lancashire Post today, Neil said: “I don’t expect anything at the moment.
“You never say never in football but what I do envisage is that if anyone does happen to leave – I think at the moment it’s a 99% chance it won’t happen – we would have to replace.”
No need for Celtic to go crazy at the back
If it was only about Neil having to replace Davies, then you could still see something happening here. After all, there are plenty of deals to be done on deadline day and Preston would already have a list of potential options if Davies goes.
However, their unwillingness to sell combined with the fact that they value him so highly makes this almost impossible.
Speaking to LancsLive last month, Neil admitted that he values the Englishman at £10million. Whilst that seems a tad steep for a player who is into the final year of his contract, it’s down to the Championship side as to how much they want to sell him for.
But looking at things from a Celtic perspective, we don’t need to go paying that amount for a defender. Not when we currently have six options available for the position with Kristoffer Ajer looking like staying at the club (Glasgow Times).
So long as we recruit a new left wing-back to compete with Greg Taylor, then you can’t be disappointed with our options defensively. Another centre-back can wait until January or next summer.
That’s not to say Davies won’t be a future target. With over 200 appearances in England’s lower leagues and a gradual improvement towards potential Premier League football, there’s a lot to like about the 25-year-old’s career progression (Transfermarkt).
But for someone who isn’t any nearer to signing a new contract with his current deal up in under a year’s time – this can wait.