Alex Neil wants Preston North End’s summer buys to hit the ground running

Alex Neil wants his summer signings to be the type who can go straight into Preston’s first team rather than have a settling-in period.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 7:00 am
Patrick Bauer is on PNE's transfer wish list
Patrick Bauer is on PNE's transfer wish list

The Lilywhites are close to doing their first incoming deal of the summer as Neil looks to bolster the squad ahead of next week’s return to training.

In the transfer windows of Neil’s reign, signings have been a mixture of players who have gone straight into the team and those who have had to wait for their chance.

As North End attempt to produce the type of form they showed mid-season rather than the poor start and finish of the last campaign, ideally they want ready-made players for the first team.

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Neil told the Post: “If you look back at the signings made since I have been here, quite a lot have played straight away.

“You think of Brad Potts, Andrew Hughes and Darnell Fisher, they played straight away, so did Billy Bodin after he signed.

“It is really important we bring guys in who if we need them to regularly start, they are capable of doing it.

“That is what will give us some real competition for places, the other lads then have to step up and show some consistency.

“Good competition for places is key and that is what we are always striving for.

“When lads know there is someone pushing them hard for their place, they respond with some good form.

“We work hard on looking at players who are the right type to come here and help push us on.”

PNE have been patient in their work this summer and the fact it has reached the third week of June before a deal is starting to bubble to the surface, is different to how they have worked during recent seasons.

Charlton centre-back Patrick Bauer could well be the first new recruit of the summer.

The German fits the bill of the kind of player PNE want.

The 26-year-old has played in the Championship with Charlton, although of late his football was in League One.

He is out of contract with the Addicks at the end of the month and that entitles him to move on a Bosman from July 1.

Charlton have offered him a new deal at The Valley.

Bauer started his career in Germany with Stuttgart and then moved to Portugal to play for Maritimo.

He signed for Charlton in 2015 and has made more than 130 appearances for the South London club.

Bauer timed his first goal of last season to perfection, scoring the Addicks’ stoppage-time winner in the League One play-off final against Sunderland at Wembley last month.

Blackburn and Wigan have also been in the hunt for the 6ft 4in defender.