Neil Lennon admits Celtic were 'gazumped' by Liverpool in race for Ben Davies

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has been discussing how close his club came to securing the services of Preston North End's Ben Davies, who looks set to complete a move to Liverpool before the transfer window slams shut tonight.

Lennon revealed that the Scottish champions were close to doing a deal themselves for the 25-year-old, but says they were 'gazumped' by the Premier League giants.

Ben Davies looks set for a move to Anfield with Sepp van den Berg moving the other way | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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

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

Davies' contract at Preston was due to expire at the end of this season and although the reported £2m fee, nowadays, seems somewhat insignificant for a club the size of Liverpool, this window was the Championship side's last chance to cash in on the defender.

In a season that has seen Lennon's position at Parkhead come under considerable scrutiny, you can understand the disappointment in his tone having seen a transfer target pinched from under his nose by the Merseyside club.

Source : 90min