By Wayne Veysey

31st Dec, 2020 | 3:14pm

Exclusive: Celtic race to sign two players in January, £8m will seal deals

Celtic are battling Genk to sign centre-back duo Ben Davies and Mark McKenzie in January, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

It has been widely reported that the Belgian club have agreed a transfer fee with Philadelphia Union for McKenzie.

However, Football Insider has been told the deal is not yet complete and could collapse in the coming days.

The centre-half is likely to cost potential suitors around £3million with the current Scottish Premiership champions one of a number of clubs interested.

If McKenzie’s move to Belgium does fall through, Genk will turn their attentions to Preston North End defender Ben Davies.

The 25-year-old will be free to speak to foreign clubs regarding a pre-contract agreement as of tomorrow with his current deal at Deepdale expiring in June 2021.

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Preston will consider bids in the region of £5million this January as the club come to terms with the possibility of losing the defender for nothing in the summer.

Football Insider first revealed in August that Celtic were considering signing Davies as a potential replacement for Kristoffer Ajer.

Neil Lennon’s side have endured a difficult start to the campaign defensively with summer loan signing Shane Duffy struggling to adjust to Scottish football.

The centre-half has fallen out of the starting eleven in recent weeks following the return to fitness of Christopher Jullien.

Hoops legend Frank McAvennie even suggested that the club could terminate the Republic of Ireland international’s loan deal next month.

In other news, Celtic tipped to seal two new signings in January amid a £35million claim from chief executive Peter Lawwell.