Alex Neil admits he was convinced Ben Davies to Celtic was a done deal.

Davies was just hours away from agreeing to join the Hoops on a pre-contract when Liverpool swooped in at the eleventh hour and stole his signature for a fee of around £1.6million on deadline day. The defender moved to Anfield in what was considered somewhat of a shock switch but Neil was surprised to see the player stay down south.

One thing the Preston manager was adamant about was that the club would not lose their centre-half for nothing on the final day of the window. But the former Hamilton boss reckons Celts would never have put their hand in their pocket to land the player now when they could seal the deal on a freebie in just a few short months time.

"To my knowledge the deal with Celtic was one that looked as if that was where he was going to end up," Neil told Sky Sports. "However, we would have not allowed him to go to Celtic in this window unless there was a substantial fee attached to it, which I don't think we would have got from them.

"With all the conversations I had with Ben Davies, I anticipated him staying until the end of the season but when Liverpool came in that blew everything out of the water, really."