Liverpool confirmed the signing of Ben Davies on transfer deadline day, as the Preston star made a stunning move to Anfield.
Davies had been with North End from the age of 11, and has joined the Premier League champions in a move that few could have predicted.
The move means Preston bring in a small fee and a sell-on clause for Davies, which is a relief given that he was set to leave for free.
Davies was inside the final six months of his contract, meaning he would have been able to move on for nothing – and it looked like that was going to happen.
Celtic were nearing a pre-contract agreement for Davies that would have seen him sign at the end of the season, seeing out the campaign with North End.
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Now, The Athletic report that Celtic are ‘gutted’ that their deal has been hijacked by Liverpool, as they seemingly thought they had Davies secured.
The Bhoys have been pursuing Davies for months, even back to last summer’s transfer window, but they have missed out as the defender only had eyes for Liverpool as soon as they came in.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon has added his comments on the situation, telling Sky Sports that Celtic almost had a deal done before Liverpool ‘gazumped’ them.
“It’s a blow because we were very close to doing that but obviously we got gazumped at the last minute by Liverpool,” said Lennon. “He lives in that area and obviously I am sure financially it would be quite rewarding for him so I am disappointed but we move on,” he added.