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

The left-sided centre-back is out of contract in June and has been monitored by several clubs, Sheffield United and Bournemouth among them.

It’s a case of better-late-than-never for the Hoops with Davies who has been a target during the previous transfer window.

The versatile player, who can also play 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 Deepdale outfit’s first team 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.

The nine-in-a-row champions had also held initial discussions with out-of-contract Preston midfielder Ben Pearson earlier in the window but did not take them further.

He is now in the process of finalising a move to Bournemouth.

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