Charlton boss Lee Bowyer revealed that Patrick Bauer didn’t want to leave The Valley in the summer.

After four years in SE7 the German centre back left for Preston when his contract expired despite Bowyer’s attempts to keep him in London.

Just weeks after the 27-year-old scored the infamous goal at Wembley that earned Charlton promotion to the Championship, the offer on the table at Deepdale was too good to turn down.

“He wanted to stay but he had an option to go somewhere else, and it was an offer that we couldn’t compete with,” Bowyer said.

“That’s the realistic side of it, that’s football.

It’s not bittersweet, that’s football. I understand the game, I’ve been in it long enough – we would have loved to have kept him.

“But that’s what happened.

“He’s a very good player and we would have liked to have kept him.

“But Pat loved his time here, he didn’t want to leave and he was disappointed to do so.”

News Shopper:

Bauer has settled into Lancashire life well under Alex Neil.

Commanding a starting berth, the former Maritimo and Stuttgart man has been an ever present on their way to second in the Championship.

Despite Bauer moving to pastures new, Bowyer holds no grudge against his former stalwart who visits The Valley with his new outfit on Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Pat, I’ve heard he’s been doing well up there, but it doesn’t surprise me at all.

“Every time he played for me he gave 100% and he’s a very good lad.

“He was a massive part of the reason we got promotion last season.

“Obviously he scored the winner at Wembley, so hopefully he gets the reception he deserves.”

Charlton v Preston: Sunday, Kick-off: 12:00.