According to Football Insider, Bournemouth have tried a last ditch move to make a double swoop for Preston North End contract rebels Ben Davies and Ben Pearson – the Cherries are looking to exploit the Celtic discord with a bid of their own.
The record Scottish champions have been interested in the Championship duo of centre-back Davies and central midfielder Pearson ahead of their North End deals expiring in the summer. The Hoops have already held talks with both players over potential pre-contract agreements as well as cut-price January transfers.
However, the latest Celtic disharmony has left club chiefs planning massive changes on and off the pitch over the coming months, which means their January transfer plans are up in the air. This has allowed Bournemouth to enter back in the race and the Cherries are now readying a late window move for Davies, 25, and Pearson, 26.
Ben Davies has been a vital cog for the Preston side after his move from Fleetwood in 2017/18 season, and has played 18 games so far in this campaign. The same can be said about Ben Pearson, the former England u19 player has been an ever present in the midfield of the Lilywhites since arriving from Barnsley in 2015/16 season.
Bournemouth did offer £3million for Davies over the summer, viewing him as the perfect replacement for Nathan Ake as a left-sided centre back. However, Preston were quick to reject that bid, as they clearly stated that they want a higher price for the central defender. Things have changed at Deepdale, as the former Fleetwood star is yet to sign a new contract with the club, meaning he could move on for free this summer.
The reluctance of the players to sign a new contract is music to the ears for the Cherries. The Championship promotion challengers are confident that they can lure the duo to play for them, as they are one of the challengers for the Premier League promotion next campaign and sit in the play-off places. Jason Tindall’s side are hopeful of landing the proven pair for cut-price fees this month, or for nothing when their contract expires.
Although it’s not clear how much Preston would want for Davies and Pearson, Bournemouth may sense a bargain, as they risk losing the duo for absolutely nothing in six months’ time.
The news of their star players moving would be a big blow, but what would hurt them the most is seeing them join a fellow Championship rival, who are struggling to get some wins under their belt in recent weeks, and they are far from guaranteed to win promotion.