CELTIC are preparing a £2.5million bid for Preston defender Ben Davies.

The Deepdale club are ready to sell their 25-year-old centre-back and the Hoops will meet their asking price and now it depends if they can agree personal terms with the player.

Talks are said to be progressing well and at an advanced stage, according to Sky Sports News.

Sheffield United and Bournemouth are also showing an interest in the left-sided back-four operator whose contract expires in June and he is set to walk away as a free agent.

Hoops scouts have been monitoring Davies for some time and he was a target for the champions before their £2million loan move for Republic of Ireland captain Shane Duffy who has struggled to make an impact and will be returning to Brighton at the end of the deal.

Versatile Davies, 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 first team on a regular basis during the 2017/18 season.

He has played 18 games in the Championship this season with former Hamilton Accies boss Alex Neil’s side currently six points behind the play-off places.

The Parkhead men have also held initial discussions with out-of-contract Preston midfielder Ben Pearson earlier in the window but have not progressed their initial interest.

Neil Lennon is desperate for cover in central defence with Christopher Jullien almost certainly ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with a knee injury sustained after a collision with a post in the 3-0 win over Dundee United just before the turn of the year.

*DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Hamilton Accies this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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