Stoke City boss Alex Neil missed out on a deal to reunite with former Preston North End defender Ben Davies on deadline day.

PNE headed to take on Stoke City on Saturday afternoon and came away with all three points.

Will Keane’s brace handed PNE a fourth straight win and took Ryan Lowe’s side to nosebleed territory at the very top of the Championship table.

North End fans had great fun as they mocked former PNE quartet Alex Neil, Paul Gallagher, Daniel Johnson and Ben Pearson, who have all joined forces together at Stoke.

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Remarkably, there was almost another former PNE man in the Stoke ranks on deadline day.

The Herald up in Scotland report that Rangers rejected a late approach from Stoke for defender Ben Davies.

The Potters wanted Davies on loan but Neil’s attempts to secure yet another reunion fell flat in the final stages of the transfer window.

Rangers may well have let Davies go but they weren’t going to strike a loan deal for the 28-year-old to leave Ibrox.

We can’t say we are surprised by Neil’s attempts to sign Davies given how much he loved the defender during his time at PNE.

Davies was originally a left back before Uwe Rosler turned him in a left-sided centre back in a three-man defence on loan at Fleetwood Town.

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Neil took the PNE job in 2017 and ran with the idea, utilising Davies as his left centre back in a 4-2-3-1 system to great effect.

Davies blossomed into a star under Neil and ultimately earned himself a January 2021 move to Premier League giants Liverpool.

The PNE youth product hasn’t quite managed to recapture his best form since then with Liverpool, Sheffield United and no Rangers.

Davies may well have fancied the chance to work with Neil again in an attempt to get back on track.

Davies wouldn’t have been registered in time to face PNE but he would surely have been in the stands tow watch the game had his move gone through.

Instead, Davies was on the bench as Rangers as they lost to Old Firm rivals Celtic on Sunday afternoon with his Gers future unclear.

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