Preston North End defender Ben Davies is seemingly ‘stalling’ contract talks with the club, amid recent interest from Scottish champions Celtic.

The 25-year-old was subject to a summer of speculation.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon identified the Preston man as a prime target ahead of this 2020/21 season. They tabled a bid in the region of £10 million, but it was firmly rejected by Preston.

Bournemouth then came in with a late bid for Davis – half the price of Celtic’s previous offer – and this too was rejected by the club.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Preston were set to open contract negotiations with their ‘big four’ – one being Davies, as well as Rangers-linked Daniel Johnson.

Yet the club are still to announce any new deals for their star players and it seems like the club might well face a contested January.

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Come the New Year, the likes of Davies and Johnson – whose contracts at Deepdale expire next summer – are able to enter pre-contract negotiations.

Celtic have retained an interest in Davies and are looking at a ‘discount’ price for the defender, given his current contract situation at Preston.

Alex Neil’s side sit in 12th-place of the Championship table.

It’s been a stop-start season overshadowed by polarising form on the road and at home, but a win over Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale last weekend puts a stop to their home rut.

They host Blackburn Rovers tonight, in what’s bound to be a competitive Lancashire derby.