By Noel Whelan

19th Sep, 2020 | 8:19pm

'I'm pretty sure...' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts as Celtic close in on £10m-valued ace

Noel Whelan claims Celtic would lose nothing and have everything to gain if they signed Preston defender Ben Davies on a pre-contract agreement.

Speaking exclusively Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aberdeen forward delivered his verdict after Bournemouth submitted a £5million bid for the 25-year-old.

Football Insider revealed last week that the Lancashire outfit value the defender at £10million but are vulnerable to losing him as he enters the final year of his contract.

The Hoops are tracking the Preston academy graduate and see him as a potential replacement for wantaway star Kristoffer Ajar.

Celtic have an edge on their English rivals as they can sign Davies on a pre-contract agreement in January.

And Whelan has urged them to act quickly after Bournemouth stepped up their interest.

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He told Football Insider“You’re losing nothing by signing somebody on a pre-contract. You’re not taking too much of a risk, you’re not forking out millions of pounds for a player.

“What you’re doing is giving them the wages without the big lump sum along with it.

“You’re not gonna lose anything, you’re just going to be gaining a top-quality player for absolutely nothing.

“But if you’re going to do it, you’ve got to do it quickly, because I’m pretty sure other teams will be sniffing about seeing a free agent there that they can have at the beginning of next season.”

Davies played 36 Championship games for Preston last season and captained the side on multiple occasions as they narrowly missed out on the play-offs.

Across all competitions, the Barrow-born defender has played 127 games for North End and has contributed two goals and two assists.

In other Celtic news, Alex McLeish has said a Hoops big name will “look back with regret” after deal is completed.