Rangers sign former Celtic target Ben Davies from Liverpool on four-year deal

Rangers have completed the signing of former Celtic target Ben Davies from Liverpool on a four-year deal.

The 26-year-old centre-back arrived at Ibrox in a £4m deal ahead of Calvin Bassey’s imminent departure to Ajax.

Davies came close to signing a pre-contract with Celtic 18 months ago before Liverpool signed him on an immediate transfer from Preston as they battled an injury crisis in central defence.

The defender, who spent eight years at the North End, never played for the Reds and was loaned out to Sheffield United last season, where he made 23 appearances.

Davies said on his new club’s website: “I am very excited to be joining Rangers and am looking forward to taking the next step in my career.

“It’s a huge club with big ambitions and I can’t wait to start.”

Gers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst added that Davies was a “strong defender with great qualities”.

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp described the transfer as a “super move”.

“Rangers is a fantastic club, a great club,” Klopp added on Liverpool’s website. “Ben belongs on a big stage for sure. European football too. This presents a proper opportunity to demonstrate your quality and composure.

“As a person, he is the best guy you could hope to meet.

“It’s a clever recruiting piece from Giovanni van Bronckhorst, to be honest. Perfect for all parties. He himself has a consummate defender, who is entering his prime and whose character is top-notch.

“We wish Ben nothing but the success he deserves and we will follow him from here as he achieves many things throughout the rest of his career.”

Speaking about transfer deadline day on 1 February 2021, then-Celtic manager Neil Lennon said of Davies’ decision not to sign a pre-contract at Parkhead: “It’s a blow because we were so close to doing it. and obviously our jaws dropped at Liverpool’s final hour.

“(We are) disappointed but moving on. It’s not the first time it’s happened to us or to me as a coach”.