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Ben Davies pre-season absence explained as 4 clubs pursue transfer

Liverpool brought 37 players with them for the pre-season tour of Asia but Ben Davies was conspicuous in his absence, with a permanent exit expected soon.

It is an extended squad for the Reds in Thailand and Singapore, but despite joining his team-mates for the first week of training on Merseyside, Davies was not included.

The 26-year-old is, for all intents and purposes, part of the first team, but has found himself in the shadows ever since his £500,000 move from Preston at the start of 2021.

With at least seven centre-backs ahead of him in the pecking order, the writing is on the wall for a player who spent last season on loan at Sheffield United.

And it has emerged that Davies was omitted from the touring squad to allow him to finalise a move away from Liverpool, with a permanent transfer likely.

According to the Liverpool Echo, there is “a lot of concrete interest” in the Englishman, with there a confidence within the club that a deal can be completed.

Davies “wants to sort his future out,” with four clubs already touted with a move – including three from the Championship.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 9, 2021: Liverpool's Ben Davies during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Back in June, Celtic and Middlesbrough were linked, while The Athletic‘s James Pearce has corroborated reports of interest from Stoke and Blackburn.

Blackburn are subject of the most speculation, though Lancs Live report that while Rovers “are interested,” they have “yet to submit a formal offer.”

A price tag of £4 million has been set, but it is suggested that this would be “incentive driven,” and with Liverpool having already recouped more than the initial £500,000 paid to sign him from Preston that would almost certainly be agreeable.

One issue when it comes to a possible move to Blackburn is that Davies would be required to take a “significant pay cut,” having signed a sizeable contract upon his switch to Anfield a year-and-a-half ago.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 9, 2021: Liverpool's Ben Davies during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For what it’s worth, new Blackburn manager Jon Dahl Tomasson has praised the No. 24 as a “very good player,” though he added that “there are a lot of players we are interested in.”

“We want the best players we can get but we can’t buy every player or we’d have to rob a bank,” he told Lancs Live.

“I would never say one player, he is a good player and he is one of them.

“It’s about quality, wages and you know how things work in football. We are trying to do the right things to get the right people in.”

Movement on Davies’ future should progress in the coming weeks, while the futures of Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams, Sepp van den Berg, Leighton Clarkson and Jake Cain should also become clearer.

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