Preston North End Close in on First Signing

Preston North End’s need for a central defender is no secret.

With Paul Huntington and Tom Clarke both on the wrong side of thirty, PNE cannot afford to rely on two ageing combatants in a grueling and competitive Championship season.

Ben Davies and Jordan Storey have youth and potential on their side, meaning both, providing they stay injury-free, should be able to play 40+ games per season.

But if either sustain a knock in training or a drop in form, we will need an experienced head to steady the ship.

This is why Patrick Bauer would be a real coup on a free transfer with his contract due to expire later this month at Championship new boys Charlton Athletic. Embed from Getty Images

With the LEP reporting that Preston North End are set to announce their hotly anticipated first summer signing, Patrick Bauer is a name being whispered rather strongly at the moment.

Charlton have desperately attempted to tie Bauer down, but their wage offer has been far short of the financial packages being proposed elsewhere.

The Addicks reportedly offered the 26-year-old German just £5,000 per week, while Preston, Blackburn and Wigan have all agreed to give Bauer more.

But today, news has emerged from reputable blog ‘Deepdale Digest‘ that Preston are closing in on the deal, much to the frustration of Blackburn Rovers.

Considering there would be no transfer fee involved, this would be a brilliant piece of business by PNE.

Bauer ticks plenty of the boxes set out by Alex Neil.

He’s an experienced operator who started out his career with German side Stuttgart in 2009.

In 2013, he made the move to top flight Portuguese side CS Maritimo, before then making the transfer to Charlton in July of 2015, where he went on to make 19 Championship appearances.

The towering German has made over a century of appearances for Charlton, but last season was possibly his best yet.

The 6’4″ defender was a key component in a defence that conceded a mere 40 goals last season (only Barnsley conceded fewer at 39).

Bauer started 35 matches in the 2018/19 season, before going on to cement himself in the history books with a last minute Play-Off Final goal that took Charlton to the Championship. Embed from Getty Images

But to find out a bit more about Bauer, I spoke to @cafcmedia, a Charlton Athletic fanpage on Instagram.

Here’s what they had to say:

Q – What are Bauer’s strengths and weaknesses?

A – Patrick Bauer is a hard working player. His main strength is probably his strength! He is good on the ball and sometimes his decision making is unreal. He doesn’t actually have weaknesses in my opinion. Sad to see him go as he has been blinding. I wish him all the success in the future.

Q – Was he your best defender last season?

A – It’s a hard one really. Jason Pearce got injured then Pat had to step up. If we were to lose him he is replaceable but it would be a big loss.

Q- Does Bauer have the potential to improve?

A- Yes, he does have potential, but certainly no higher than the Championship.

Q- How are his fitness levels?

A- He is fit enough to play for the whole 90, definitely.

Q- How did your defence play last season with Bauer in it?

A- There was usually a back four that controlled the game when we were in possession.

Clearly Bauer was a big player for Charlton and although a deal has not been done, Preston will be keen to get this one over the line before another club swoop in.

As always, we’ll keep you updated, so go follow us on Twitter @TownEndTalk_ and on Instagram @prestonupdates