BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Preston North End, Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic are all chasing Patrick Bauer – and can blow the financial terms from Charlton Athletic out of the water.
The Addicks are set to have the lowest budget in the Championship but did move earlier today to snap up Leyton Orient striker Macauley Bonne for £200,000.
Bauer, 26, is out of contract at the end of this month.
And Charlton’s head of recruitment Steve Gallen told the South London Press last week that the South London outfit could not match the money on offer elsewhere.
The fact that the Addicks cannot invest more heavily in their squad while owner Roland Duchatelet remains at the helm has diminished their prospects of keeping hold of key men like Bauer and Joe Aribo, with strong talk north of the border that the midfielder is set to sign for Glasgow Rangers.
Bauer was the subject of interest from Blackburn before the start of the season but the offer did not tempt Duchatelet into doing business.
Instead Duchatelet opted to keep the German centre-back – and he popped up with the winning goal at Wembley in last month’s League One play-off final against Sunderland.