Celtic must finally complete a move for Preston North End defender Ben Davies, with reports claiming Neil Lennon’s side are in an intense battle to sign him in this January transfer window.
Reports over the summer suggested that the Hoops were considering signing Davies as a potential replacement for Kristoffer Ajer, but a deal failed to materialise before the end of the deadline, with the Norway international ending up staying at Celtic Park.
Now, Football Insider claim that Celtic are battling Genk for both Davies and Philadelphia Union centre-back Mark McKenzie.
The report adds that with the former’s contract at Preston coming to an end this season, the Deepdale side “will consider bids in the region of £5m this January as the club come to terms with the possibility of losing the defender for nothing in the summer”.
When Celtic snapped up Brighton’s Shane Duffy on a season-long loan back in the summer, Lennon couldn’t hide his excitement at bringing in the Premier League veteran.
He said: “He is leader and a warrior – someone with real ability and who will also give us that great physical presence.” Sadly for the Hoops, the 29-year-old just hasn’t been the answer at centre-back, and it’s been telling that he’s started just once in the past seven Scottish Premiership games.
In Davies, Celtic could snap up an absolute bargain, and someone who would offer them the kind of centre-back option suited to the modern game.
His manager at Preston, Alex Neill said: “Once I had looked at Ben, assessed the whole squad and seen him for a couple of weeks I thought to myself that we have a really good player on our hands.
“Ben has got a good left foot and he should really have more confidence in it than he actually has. He is better with it than he gives himself credit for. The lad has really good pace, which for a centre-back is rare. He reads the game well and has the determination to get better.”
Left-footed and with a bit of pace? Peter Lawwell surely has to dip into his pockets and find that £5m to sign him.