Sheffield United target can still go despite featuring in Liverpool friendly

Ben Davies has been told he can still leave Liverpool in pursuit of first team football, despite starting their first pre-season friendly.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 4:47 pm

Davies, who could again emerge as a target for Sheffield United after being pursued by them last term, took part in a behind closed doors 30 minute game against FC Wacker Innesbruck .

Jurgen Klopp’s side then faced VFB Stuttgart in another truncated fixture

Both matches took place at their training base in Austria, where the former European champions are preparing for the new Premier League campaign.

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Liverpool's English defender Ben Davies (L) warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 3, 2021: PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

United are on the look-out for at least one new centre-half as Slavisa Jokanovic looks to reprofile their squad following relegation. Although another later arrive on loan, the former Chelsea midfielder is understood to have been granted permission to make at least one permanent addition to a rearguard weakened by Jack O’Connell’s on-going injury issues and Phil Jagielka’s departure at the end of his contract.

United’s failure to capture Davies in January accelerated the deterioration of the relationship between Bramall Lane’s board of directors and Jokanovic’s predecessor Chris Wilder. However, perhaps crucially, the hierarchy’s refusal to sanction the purchase was more to do with the fact they felt demotion was already certain rather than a lack of belief in Davies’ ability.

The 25-year-old was also courted by Celtic before leaving Preston North End in a deal which could potentially rise to £2.6m. Like United, the Glaswegians have also been again been linked with Davies, who appears surplus to requirements following Virgil van Dijk’s return to fitness following a long absence.

Davies has yet to make a competitive appearance since arriving on Merseyside.