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Rangers must seal swoop for Filip Helander alternative in Preston North End’s Ben Davies

According to Football Insider, Glasgow Rangers are interested in signing Preston North End defender Ben Davies.

What’s the word?

Not that they’d like to admit it, but despite keeping a clean sheet against 10-men arch-rivals Celtic in the Old Firm on Saturday, Rangers have looked a bit suspect at the back in recent weeks – especially in the 3-2 cup defeat to St Mirren.

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Steven Gerrard’s side have marginally improved but there is still room for improvement at the back as Filip Helander was caught napping several times by St. Mirren, before being dropped against Neil Lennon’s men this weekend.

It seems the Ibrox boss has his heart set on signing a new centre-back and has turned his attention to beating Scottish Premiership rivals Celtic in the race to sign Davies in January, who’s current deal at Deepdale will run out at the end of this season.

Imagine Davies and Connor Goldson

The report claims Celtic have been closely monitoring the contract rebel’s situation but it appears Rangers chief Ross Wilson has other ideas as he plans to lure the 25-year-old to the Govan-based Glaswegian giants.

Rangers have set themselves up rather nicely to regain the Premiership title for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign, as they currently sit at the top of the table, but Gerrard is still keen to strengthen his squad before the end of the season.

It’s believed Preston are willing to listen to offers of around £5m for Davies, who is a by-product of the club’s famed academy.

However, they may be forced to accept a cut-price deal, rather than lose him for free in the summer.

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How much did Rangers pay to sign Tore Andre Flo from Chelsea?

Preston boss Alex Neil has made no attempts to disguise his admiration for Davies, calling him an “excellent” colossus after he made a successful recovery from injury towards the end of last year.

Neil said: “I thought the two Bens were excellent.

“They make a difference to us as everybody is aware, and I thought you could see that today, they were key in us retaining the ball and building in the first half.

“As the game wears on, Pearo’s not done a lot at all, and he’s playing in a position where he’s covering a lot of ground, so we need to protect him. Ben Davies as well, I didn’t feel there was any need for that last ten minutes to take any risks with him.”

Davies has played 14 games in the Championship this season, while he is averaging 1.1 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and a staggering 4.4 clearances per game, via WhoScored. In stark contrast, Helander has only managed just 0.8 interceptions and 2.2 clearances on average per game in the Premiership this season, as per WhoScored.

Both comfortable at the back and confident on the ball, his ability to retain possession could prove most useful for Gerrard if Wilson can fend off competition for his services. Get it done, Gers, before it’s too late.

AND in other news, Glasgow Rangers should reward Kai Kennedy with a new contract

Article title: Rangers must seal swoop for Filip Helander alternative in Preston North End’s Ben Davies

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