Report: Gerrard makes move for Celtic-linked English defender
Steven Gerrard has made a move to secure long-term Celtic-linked Ben Davies, Football Insider has reported.
The Hoops were first linked with the Preston man back in the summer. At the time, Celtic were said to be eyeing up a pre-contract deal for the Englishman (The Sun).
Preston manager Alex Neil has also previously labelled his centre-back at £10million. This came after he was asked directly about Celtic’s interest back in the summer (Lancs Live).
Since then, Davies still hasn’t signed a new deal with the Championship side. He’s now free to talk to clubs, and Football Insider claims that Gerrard’s Rangers have put an offer on the table for him. They state that Celtic remain in the running, along with Premier League interest.
However, they also claim that Preston would rather sell him this month for a fee. Should a Scottish club sign Davies for the summer, they would benefit from the cross-border rule which allows them to sign English-based players on pre-contract deals for nothing.
If Gerrard has made move for Celtic-linked Davies, Hoops must make a quick decision
Davies has had a productive campaign despite the uncertainty surrounding his long-term future. The centre-back has made 16 appearances in total after a minor hamstring knock set him back in periods during October and November (Transfermarkt).
And with Celtic in the market for a centre-back after Chris Jullien’s injury, Davies looks like one who could fit the bill. Comfortable on the ball and dominant in the air, at face-value he looks a prospect. Aged only 25, there’s a tremendous chance there to sell on for a higher profit in the future. Something Celtic have done so well in recent years.
But if Gerrard has made a move, a decision needs to be made quickly. If you look at the situation from Davies’ perspective, he’ll want his situation tied up. If he signs a pre-contract for the summer, Preston will do all they can to shift him to his new club now for a fee. So it’s not all about waiting until closer to the season’s end.
Celtic already have big problems at the back as it is. However, with Kris Ajer likely going to leave in the summer (The Times) along with Shane Duffy’s loan expiring, we’ll need to rebuild. Davies looks a solid option for that rebuilding job.
It must be stressed that there have been no reports of any offers from Celtic for Davies since the initial interest surfaced. But after missing out on Mark McKenzie and Filip Benkovic, he looks like a logical target.
We’ll see if anything happens in the coming weeks. But Celtic must make sure they don’t exit this January window without an addition at the back.