Preston’s first signing of the summer is edging ever closer.

Earlier today, the Lancashire Evening Post reported that North End are hoping to make a signing this week. No name was given, leaving fans to wonder just who could be heading to Deepdale.

We now believe the player to be Charlton Athletic defender Patrick Bauer, with North End fending off Blackburn Rovers for the German’s signature.

Bauer, 26, had stints with Stuttgart and Maritimo before heading to Charlton in 2015. The 6ft 4in centre back has racked up nearly 150 appearances for the Addicks, impressing at The Valley.

The centre back’s contract expires later this month, and despite scoring the winner for Charlton in their playoff final win over Sunderland, he’s set to leave.

Patrick Bauer of Charlton Athletic celebrates winning promotion. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

North End have made their move for Bauer, and believe he’s edging towards a move to Deepdale. Other Championship clubs have been interested, not just Rovers, and it’s something of a coup to win the race.

We’ve suggested before that Bauer fits the bill perfectly for North End. He’s of a good age, he’s played Championship football before, he can sign for free and possesses the height we need at the back.

Bauer’s potential arrival may mean that Tom Clarke or Paul Huntington move on, and we’d guess the latter may be at greater risk. Clarke’s versatility to play at right back may just give him the edge.

Having three quality centre backs in Bauer, Jordan Storey and Ben Davies would give Alex Neil great options. We know he tends to stick to 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-4-1, but there’s now a real opportunity to play three at the back.

Until the deal is done, there is of course time for a move to be hijacked, but as things stand, we’re expecting Bauer to be a North End player.

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