English Premier League outfit Sheffield United could look to rival Celtic for a pre-contract deal for Ben Davies in January, according to the Sheffield Star.

The Sun reported earlier this summer that the Hoops were likely to try and sign the Preston centre-back for nothing at the start of 2021. However, a move for him is looking like it could get more and more complicated.

The Star says that Sheffield boss Chris Wilder has compiled a list of targets to look at in January, and that Davies could be one of the names that interests the Blades.

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This comes after a report from the Sun on Sunday (print edition, 25/10, page 61) that stated both Stuttgart and Bayer Leverkusen were also interested in a move for him.

With just over two months to go before Davies can speak to clubs about a pre-contract move in the summer of 2021, it appears that the race for his signature is really starting to heat up.

Not a lot Celtic can do

It was always going to be a matter of time before the Premier League clubs started hovering. Even if there was summer speculation that didn’t come to fruition, the prospect of luring Davies on a pre-contract is an enticing prospect for many.

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Given some of the reported competition we face in that regard, there isn’t a lot Celtic can do but pitch their claim to Davies. That’s even if Neil Lennon does decide he’s the man he wants to bolster the back-line.

And again, who knows whether that will be a priority for the club in January. Lennon’s staunch defence of Shane Duffy yesterday (Daily Record), plus the fact he has six centre-back options at the club already, could see him stick with what he’s got for the foreseeable future.

Reported Celtic target Ben Davies

Reported Celtic target Ben Davies / (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Should we delve into the market for another centre-back either in January or next summer, it’s fair to say we’ve been linked with a host of them. From Mark McKenzie (Sky Sports) to Omar Colley (Sky Sports), it’s unlikely that Celtic will put all of their eggs in the Davies basket.

But if the club does move for Davies in just a few months, don’t be surprised if the Hoops try to snap him in a cut-price deal in January as opposed to settling for the pre-contract.

In truth, the main priority should be keeping what we currently have at the club. Not allowing the likes of Kris Ajer to depart, for example, remains a key part of our 10-in-a-row bid. Lennon should only be adding to his backline in January if he feels certain stars aren’t performing.

For now, it’s a case of watch this space as we get closer and closer to the winter window.

In other news, Leigh Griffiths cooled talk of an international return as he set his priorities straight.

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