Neil Lennon admits Celtic were ‘watched’ by Liverpool in the race for Ben Davies

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has discussed how successful his club have been in securing the services of Ben Davies from Preston North End, who appear set to complete his move to Liverpool before the transfer window closes this evening.

Lennon has revealed that the Scottish champions are close to making a deal on their own for the 25-year-old, but said they have been ‘watched’ by the Premier League giants.

Ben davies
Ben Davies looks set for an Anfield move with Sepp van den Berg going the other way | Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Speaking at a press conference, he said: “It’s a blow because we were very close to doing it, but obviously we were watched at the last minute by Liverpool. He lives in this area and obviously I’m sure it would have been quite rewarding financially for him [to opt for Liverpool]. [We’re] disappointed but we move on. “

The Hoops are currently 23 points behind the Rangers in the Scottish Premiership, having conceded 13 more goals than Steven Gerrard’s side despite two fewer games. Taking that into consideration, you can see why their 49-year-old boss is looking to beef up his central defensive options.

Davies’ contract at Preston was set to expire at the end of this season and although the £ 2million fee these days seems somewhat insignificant for a club the size of Liverpool, this window was the last chance for the championship team to take advantage of the defender. .

In a season that has seen Lennon’s position at Parkhead come under scrutiny, you can understand the disappointment in his tone to have seen a transfer target nipped under his nose by the Merseyside club.