Preston defender Ben Davies has been starring over the last two years, and top-flight interest was only a matter of time.
Having been miscast as a left back under Simon Grayson, Davies became a centre back on loan at Fleetwood Town. Alex Neil’s appointment as manager in 2017 saw him earn a first-team spot, and he hasn’t looked back.
The 24-year-old has now made 100 appearances for North End, with 88 of them coming under Neil. Davies is now one of the first names on the Preston team sheet, having emerged as one of the top Championship central defenders.
Davies is an elegant centre back rather than a dominant powerhouse, showing great reading of the game and the ability to play out from the back. As a left-footed centre back, which is a role in increasing demand, Davies is now attracting interest.
Alan Nixon claims that Brighton and Hove Albion, Everton, Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers all want to sign Davies, with interest seemingly coming in 2020.
Davies has just over 18 months left on his deal, meaning North End will be under pressure to sell before he leaves for free. Those Premier League clubs would still have to pay a decent price though, with Preston no doubt seeking an eight-figure price for the homegrown defender.
Now, Preston fans have been taking to Twitter to react to the rumours, with almost all telling the club not to sell Davies in January. Trevor Hemmings and Peter Ridsdale were even told to unplug the phones to avoid interest.
Others think that Davies should cost around £25million to £30million, which seems ambitious given his contract situation, but it’s clear that supporters feel Davies is key to Preston’s chances of promotion this term.
Hopefully we're still in a good position in January we'll be able to keep hold of him
— Helen Whelan (@helen_xxxx) October 5, 2019
Hopefully hold our nerve to end of season with Davies having 12 months left of his contract. The most worrying is Ben Pearson and Alan Browne have 12 months left at the end of the season. A big season for North End this one.
— Aaron Sidlow (@AzSidlow13) October 6, 2019
Hemmings and riddler HAVE to unplug the phone and Fax machine if we are to stand a chance
— James O'Brien (@JamesOB12903) October 5, 2019
It’s no real surprise. Anyone would have to pay BIG money. Put a £30m tag on his head
— jamie banks (@pne_jamie) October 6, 2019
If Adam Webster went Bristol for 25 mil I’m expecting at least 25
— Max Knowles (@maxiknowles7) October 5, 2019
I hope they are interested as they wouldn’t be if he wasn’t good enough for the PL. More clubs the better. Easily worth £20m in this market.
— Gary Robinson (@garyrobbo81) October 6, 2019
Seems a bit soon to say re: the Davies rumours, but I’d try and make a verbal agreement with him. We go up, he signs on. We don’t, he leaves. Football isn’t always as simple as that but being a local lad might make it easier #PNEFC
— Adam Kirk (@adamjohnkirk) October 6, 2019
— PNE Fans Forum (@PNEFansForum) October 5, 2019