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Sheffield United are keen to sign Preston North End defender Ben Davies in the January transfer window, according to the Daily Mail – but Chris Wilder’s comments suggest Celtic may be a more likely destination.

Speaking to Yorkshire Live this week, the embattled Blades boss admitted he wasn’t expecting any permanent arrivals at Bramall Lane in January.

“There won’t be permanent transfers – there will be loans,” he said.

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With that in mind, it seems unlikely Davies will end up in the Steel City. The classy centre-half is due to become a free agent in the summer so why would Preston let him leave on loan in January?

The Championship outfit will surely consider permanent bids only with just one window remaining before Davies’ contract expires.

Furthermore, The Sun (5 September, page 59) reported only two months ago that Sheffield United were unwilling to meet Preston’s £10 million demands for a left-sided defender who had been lined up to replace the injured Jack O’Connell in Wilder’s starting XI.

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The Sun also claimed Davies could agree a pre-contract agreement with Celtic – an arrangement that would see the 25-year-old move to Glasgow at the end of the season.

Bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United have a decision to make, then.

Do they try to stump up the fee Preston want for Davies? Or risk waiting until the summer, by which time Davies could be a Celtic player and Sheffield United a Championship club?

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