Patrick Bauer’s arrival will give Preston North End competition for places
The German centre-half yesterday joined North End on a Bosman from Charlton, signing a three-year deal.
It has been an action-packed month for Bauer, one in which he has hardly had time to draw breath.
His goal at Wembley in the League One play-off final fired Charlton to promotion.
During the play-off push he became a dad – his daughter Kayleen arrived on the same day as the semi-final second leg – and now Bauer is ready to embark on what he sees as a ‘new chapter’ with Preston.
His move here takes effect from July 1 after his contract with Charlton ends.
PNE’s pursuit of him had been ongoing for a fortnight. They had competition from Blackburn Rovers and Wigan to contend with but eventually fought that off.
A deal was struck with his representatives at the end of last week and arrangements were made for him to come to Lancashire for a medical on Tuesday.
That coincided with Alex Neil’s return from holiday and now the Preston manager has his first close-season recruit on board.
Neil wanted to bring more competition to the defence and Bauer fitted the bill of what he wanted.
Aged 26, he has sufficient miles on the clock in terms of playing in Germany, Portugal and latterly in London.
The first of his four seasons at Charlton was spent in the Championship, that another box ticked for Neil.
Having been Charlton’s skipper, there is a leadership quality in him.
“Patrick is a strong and powerful defender who we have monitored closely,” said Neil. “He will add competition to our defence in the central positions.”
Bauer’s arrival does not mean Preston are looking to offload Tom Clarke or Paul Huntington.
They were kept out of the team by Jordan Storey and Ben Davies in the second half of last season.
Neil wants to keep both of them on board and they are keen to stay.
After finalising the move, Bauer said: “I spoke to the manager and he gave me a good feeling about the club.
“He told me all about the ambition, how ambitious they are in the next couple of years.
“I could really identify with the club.
“The manager wants me to be a leader when I’m playing on the pitch.
“I saw last year that they played a good year and have very good players.
“There will be some good competition for places and everyone wants to be in that starting XI.”