Patrick Bauer is set to turn down interest from Rangers and stay with Charlton Athletic following their Championship promotion, according to Football Insider.
The 26-year-old scored an injury-time winner as the Addicks beat Sunderland 2-1 in the League One play-off final, and Bauer now looks set to form an integral part of Charlton’s Championship return.
The out-of-contract defender has reportedly attracted interest from Rangers and a host of Championship clubs including Hull City, Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End after a solid campaign in the third tier.
Bauer has been a key player since arriving at The Valley in 2015 and the claim that he is set to extend his stay will come as a boost to Lee Bowyer as he starts shaping his side for next season.
We look at this in our latest FLW Six Point Opinion…
1) How well did Patrick Bauer perform last season?
“He’s been a rock in defence for a Charlton side who boasted the second-best defensive record in League One behind automatic promotion winners Barnsley.
“Bauer suffered a knee injury which ruled him out for nine games in the first half of the season, but he was a regular feature in Bowyer’s side apart from this and made a total of 39 appearances in all competitions.
“He proved his ability to perform alongside both Naby Sarr and Jason Pearce over the course of the campaign, and his play-off final exploits capped off an impressive season in the best possible way.”
2) What qualities does he bring?
“Standing tall at 6.3ft, Bauer is a commanding presence at the back for the Addicks and his defensive strengths have provided a solid base for Bowyer’s side this season. He is impressive aerially and is not afraid to put his body on the line when making blocks.
“Bauer is also a key figure in executing Charlton’s playing style, as he is strong on the ball and his strong passing abilities have meant he was able to launch attacks from deep last season.
“Having been at the club for four years, Bauer now also boasts considerable experience in English football and he would bring an element of stability to Charlton’s back line if he stays at The Valley.”
3) Is he capable of making the step up to the Championship?
“Without a doubt.
“Bauer’s strengths mean he boasts the key qualities that make a good Championship defender and he would be an asset to Charlton next season.
“His physicality should serve him well against higher quality strikers, while his leadership skills will also have a huge influence on the squad in the dressing room.”
4) Has he now become indispensable to Charlton?
“You would have to say so, given how long he has played for the club and the extent of his contribution to their promotion.
“His Wembley winner means he is bordering on legend status at The Valley, and his presence at the back will be vital next season as Charlton will look to build a solid foundation for success.
“It would be a heavy setback for Charlton if they needed to seek a replacement him this summer.”
5) Is there a chance he could still leave?
“The report suggests that Bauer is set to snub any interest in him, but he is still yet to sign a new deal at The Valley.
“All the indications are suggesting that he will be offered a new deal by the Charlton hierarchy, but some Addicks fans will still be nervous given the board’s mismanagement of the club in recent times.
“It could be the case that Bauer’s future somewhat hinges on whether Bowyer remains at the club, as his managerial quality injected a fresh lease of life last season and Charlton players will surely be desperate for him to stay on.”
6) What must Charlton do to ensure he is committed to the club?
“Despite it seeming that Bauer already favours remaining at the club, Charlton should provide assurances regarding the club’s plans and ambitions.
“His performances last season mean he would have certainly earned a move away, but Charlton must now offer him an improved contract and inform him of the club’s commitment to cementing their Championship status.
“They must also ensure Bowyer stays at the club, as Bauer clearly thrived under the former Premier League midfielder’s management last season.”