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Last Updated: Friday, 6 January 2006, 09:50 GMT
Celtic say Pearson not for sale
Stephen Pearson
Pearson has made just seven appearances this season
Preston manager Billy Davies has confirmed that Celtic have rejected a bid for midfielder Stephen Pearson.

He said: "We have been told that Stephen is not for sale and we'll now have to look to make progress on other midfield targets."

BBC Sport understands Preston offered around 300,000 for the 23-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer.

Davies is anxious to patch up an injury-hit squad for the Deepdale side to maintain their push for promotion.

Despite his recent lack of first-team chances at Celtic, manager Gordon Strachan wants Pearson to stay.

But on Thursday, Pearson's agent, Willie McKay, said the player would be willing to move to the Championship club.

"If Stephen's playing for Celtic, he's a Celtic fan, he's happy. If he doesn't play I think he'd like to go to Preston and play," said McKay.

"He will be in the Premiership in six months and the way they are playing, it will be with Preston.

"I've spoken to several people who know Preston very well and people like David Moyes say it would be a great move."

Strachan, however, told his club's website this week that the midfielder was part of his plans.

"Stephen Pearson is going nowhere. He is part of the current first team and I hope he will play a big part in the remainder of the season," said the Celtic boss.


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