Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Report: Ridsdale wanted ex-Leeds midfielder Lee Bowyer to become Preston boss if Neil quit last season

Alex Neil may have lost his job as Preston boss last week, but it’s not all that long ago that North End were fighting to keep him.

The Scot parted ways with Preston last Sunday, paying the price after a 1-0 home defeat to Luton Town – a third straight defeat without scoring.

The search is now on for his successor, but North End had to battle to fend off Stoke City when they wanted Neil back in November 2019.

Photo by Kevin Barnes – CameraSport via Getty Images

Looking Back At OUR Euro 2020 Predictions

Neil was targeted as the successor to Nathan Jones, but Preston stood firm and even threatened to report the Potters for an illegal approach.

The Athletic now report that Preston had started looking for a potential replacement anyway, and a top name in the mix was Lee Bowyer.

It’s noted that Peter Ridsdale has a strong relationship with Bowyer from their time together at Leeds United, and a reunion was being targeted as Stoke hovered for Neil.

Bowyer even noted earlier this year that his relationship with Ridsdale was a key factor in his Charlton Athletic side winning the race to sign Preston striker Jayden Stockley in January.

Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Bowyer worked wonders at Charlton, so Preston’s interest is no huge shock, but he won’t be Alex Neil’s replacement at Deepdale.

The ex-Leeds midfielder recently quit Charlton to become Birmingham City’s new boss, replacing Aitor Karanka in the St Andrews’ hot seat.

The report goes on to note that Preston have had more than 50 applications for the current vacancy, with Bowyer off the table.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know