Celtic are working on a cut-price deal for Preston North End defender Ben Davies ahead of January, Football Insider understands.

The Hoops have been eyeing the Championship centre-back as a potential winter window signing to replace Kristoffer Ajer, as first revealed by this site in August.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Celtic are keeping close tabs on Davies, 25, over the coming months.

Preston valued Davies at the £10m mark over the summer, and rejected a £5million bid from Bournemouth before the window shut.

There was also interest from Premier League duo West Ham and Sheffield United ahead of last week’s domestic deadline.

Alex Neil’s side fended off the interest and are keen to secure Davies to a new contract that will replace his deal expiring next summer.

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They are vulnerable to losing the proven performer in the next window if he has not committed to a fresh agreement.

His price tag is likely to crash to around half of its current sum if an extension cannot be finalised by the mid-way point of the campaign.

That opens the door to the defender’s many suitors and one advantage Celtic have is they can use cross-border rules to secure him on a pre-contract agreement.

Davies has started all five of Preston’s league matches this season, including their 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City last Sunday.

He has now played 131 times for his boyhood club and has also had loan spells at York City, Newport County, Fleetwood Town, Tranmere Rovers and Southport.

In other news, Celtic may reignite move to sign Premier League midfielder in January after Sky Sports reveal.