Transfer news: Celtic agree deal to sign Preston defender Ben Davies in summer

Ben Davies has made 18 appearances in the Championship for Alex Neil's Preston this season; Preston's Ben Pearson is set to join Bournemouth

Ben Davies, Preston
Image: Preston's Ben Davies will move to Celtic in the next transfer window

Celtic have reached a pre-contract agreement with Preston to sign defender Ben Davies in the summer.

Davies has received a lot of interest given his Preston contract expires in six months, including from Sheffield United.

Celtic have been monitoring Davies for some time and he was a target for the Scottish Premiership side during the previous transfer window.

Bournemouth saw a bid for the defender rejected last summer and have been tracking his situation this month.

Davies, a left-footed centre half who can also play at left-back, is a product of Preston's academy and enjoyed loan spells at York City, Tranmere Rovers, Southport, Newport County and Fleetwood Town, prior to breaking into the Lilywhites' first-team on a regular basis during the 2017/18 season.

He has played 18 games in the Championship this season, with Alex Neil's side currently six points behind the play-off places.

Celtic had also held initial discussions with out-of-contract Preston midfielder Ben Pearson earlier in the window but did not take them further. Pearson is now in the process of finalising a move to Bournemouth.

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Meanwhile, Jeremie Frimpong has completed his permanent move from to Bayer Leverkusen.

PA 1:16
Former Celtic defender Gary Caldwell believes the sale of Jeremie Frimpong to Bayer Leverkusen was good business, but says they must use those funds wisely

The Hoops were in talks with Leicester City over a move for defender Filip Benkovic, with the club keen to provide cover for the injured Christopher Jullien, but the Croatia international joined Belgian side OH Leuven earlier this month until the end of the season.

Preston's Ben Pearson is close to joining Championship rivals Bournemouth
Image: Preston's Ben Pearson is close to joining Championship rivals Bournemouth

Preston's Pearson on the verge of joining Bournemouth

Bournemouth have agreed terms to sign Preston's Ben Pearson.

The midfielder is expected on the south coast in the next 24 hours to complete a medical and finalise the move.

Pearson has played nine Championship games this season and is one of two key players out of contract at Deepdale in the summer, the other being defender Davies.

Pearson's anticipated arrival at the Vitality Stadium, meanwhile, means Dan Gosling could leave before the transfer deadline.

Nottingham Forest are among the teams that want to sign him.

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