Preston North End are set to focus their attentions on bringing in a new centre-back to replace the injured Patrick Bauer in January, as well as potentially looking to add a creative midfielder.
The Lilywhites have had a full 25-man squad during the first half of the Championship campaign, but room has opened up following the long-term Achilles tendon injury suffered by Bauer, that is set to keep him out of action for the rest of the campaign. That leaves Neil’s side a little short for defensive cover and there is also uncertainty over the future of Ben Davies who is yet to sign a new deal.
It is thought that a new centre-back is being made the priority for Preston in January and they are focusing their attentions on bringing in a right-sided defender to replace Bauer. The Lilywhites are reportedly focusing their attentions on the domestic market rather than looking abroad as they aim to fill the sizeable gap in their squad, per the Lancashire Post.
Quiz: Did these 25 players make more or less than 100 Preston North End appearances?
Neil’s side are also thought to be considering allowing some of their fringe players to leave the club in January in order to free up further room in their squad. That could enable them to bring in a creative midfielder which could be needed in case Daniel Johnson does not sign a new deal to remain at Deepdale beyond the summer.
Preston are facing a pivotal January transfer window with the club currently seven points adrift of the play-off places. A replacement for Bauer is essential for Neil’s side who showed that they still have potential to go on a good run of form during their important 1-0 win against Bristol City at Deepdale on Friday.
Although Preston kept a clean sheet in that game, they would be in trouble were they to suffer another defensive injury. Paul Huntington has been performing decently for them this season averaging three clearances and one interception per game (Sofascore), but the Lilywhites need more depth and so a new defender is vital.
It would also make perfect sense for the Lilywhites to move on some of their fringe players if that meant that they were able to bring in another creative midfielder. Preston have at times struggled to break teams down at home especially and therefore an extra creative presence is needed to help them improve their form at Deepdale.