Defender Ben Davies is more likely to join Celtic on a pre-contract basis than sign for Bournemouth before the end of the transfer window, The Sun has reported on Wednesday.

Davies has been consistently linked with a move to Celtic Park over the last few weeks and Preston are said to have already rejected a £5m offer from the Cherries (The Daily Record).

Lilywhites boss Alex Neil has also went on the record in August to say he values the player at £10m in the current market (Lancs Live).

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It’s unlikely that the Bhoys have that much cash to burn in a window they’ve bought significantly in already but a January pre-contract makes far more sense.

Davies has less than a year left on his current deal.

Reported Celtic target Ben Davies

Reported Celtic target Ben Davies / (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

The Preston man is a left-sided central defender who has experience of playing at left-back.

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He’s made over 100 appearances in the Championship throughout his career, also spending time lower down the leagues in England.

Celtic have to consider the future of the central-half position. There have been signs that Kristoffer Ajer won’t be at the club much longer, while Shane Duffy is only on loan for the season.

Planning is needed to ensure we are not left short for European qualifiers again next summer. Davies fits the profile of a player who could come in and make an instant impact.

Reported Celtic target Ben Davies

Reported Celtic target Ben Davies / (Photo by Kevin Barnes – CameraSport via Getty Images)

If Celtic play their cards right here they could land an upper Championship/lower Premier League quality defender on a free transfer who, at 25, still holds significant resale value down the line.

Obviously a lot of things have to fall in our favour here but with this latest report from The Sun suggesting we are leading the chase to land him, the signs are good right now.

In other news, Rangers have suffered a Celtic derby blow.

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