Preston should be in for a busy transfer deadline day, and the big deal in the offing will see Ben Davies leave North End.
It looked like Sheffield United or Bournemouth could pounce, Burnley have even been linked of late, and there has also been the Celtic interest.
The Bhoys have pursued Davies for months, and it looked like he would be heading to Parkhead on a pre-contract agreement, seeing out the season at Preston.
However, the situation has changed massively since Sunday afternoon, as Liverpool have now swooped in to make their move for Davies.
The Reds are seemingly paying £2million plus Sepp van den Berg to sign Davies, and the deal will be done before tonight’s deadline.
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This is a life-changing move for Davies; the money on offer at Anfield will be staggering, whilst the sheer prestige of playing for Liverpool and working under Jurgen Klopp will be huge.
Davies will now be able to call Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago and Mohamed Salah teammates; a staggering opportunity for the 25-year-old, whose Preston career appeared to be slipping away before 2017.
In being a homegrown defender turning out for Preston and then eventually Liverpool, Davies will follow in the footsteps of Mark Lawrenson – and the pundit has offered his honest view on this deal.
Lawrenson suggested to BBC Sport that a move to Celtic would have been good for Davies, but never really thought he would be good enough to be on Liverpool’s radar.
Lawrenson noted that he thinks Davies will be behind Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in the centre back pecking order at Anfield, seemingly doubting he will play all that much.
Still, Lawrenson feels Davies has been ‘very good’ in the Championship, and will now enjoy a ‘fabulous’ experience by making the move to Anfield.
“Ben Davies has done well at Preston and has let his contract run down so he was going to move on in the summer. If he’d gone to Celtic, which I’d heard had been agreed, then I was thinking he could do well there, but being honest I didn’t really see him as being good enough to be on Liverpool’s radar,” said Lawrenson. “He’s a real steady Eddie. He’s left-footed and quick enough but he’s not got phenomenal pace or anything like that. He’s been good in the Championship, very good.”
“But I’ve watched him and thought, up against the extra nous and quality you get in the Premier League, on top of extra pace, it will be a test for him. You wouldn’t want to just throw him in to face Manchester City next Sunday, put it that way. This is obviously a great move for him, I just can’t see him getting near the first team. Nat Phillips has done well when he’s come in and he is probably a better player.”
“So, Davies would be behind him and also Rhys Williams, so even before Joel Matip comes back and the other two long-term injured players – Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez – he is going to be below them on the list. And Fabinho and Jordan Henderson too. I am not sure he will play very much at Liverpool, but the experience alone should be fabulous. I hope he experiences playing in the first team, but even if he is just sitting on the bench then it is still great for him,” he added.