Preston manager Alex Neil says he does not believe Celtic would have paid the "substantial fee" needed to sign Ben Davies in January, after he eventually joined Liverpool on deadline day.
Celtic had previously agreed with Ben Davies to sign him at the end of the season, But on the last day of the January window, Liverpool reached a £1.6m deal with Championship side for the 25-year-old defender.
To my knowledge the deal with Celtic was one that looked as if that was where he was going to end up
," Neil said.
"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."
Many believe that Davies is not a good option for Liverpool's defensive line, but Neil says that Davies has a lot of potential and can play at a high level.
I don't think people should be surprised because he has done very well with us. I think he is at a stage, certainly this season, where his game has come together
," he added.
"I think if he does get an opportunity he can become a real quality centre-back."