Aston Villa, Wolves launch moves for surprise West Ham ace, with Moyes hunting Prem successor

Craig Dawson, Jarrod Bowen, Declan Rice celebrate a goal for West Ham during Europa League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Olympique Lyonnais v West Ham United - Groupama Stadium, Lyon

Aston Villa and Wolves have submitted offers for West Ham defender Craig Dawson after registering their interest in him, according to one source.

West Ham made the surprise decision to sign Dawson from Championship club Watford in October 2020. Despite some concern from fans, the centre-back impressed at the London Stadium and earned himself a permanent move to east London last summer.

Dawson has become a mainstay in David Moyes’ side, going on to make 74 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers.

The Englishman is yet to play this season after picking up a thigh injury. Amid Dawson’s recovery, reports claim Aston Villa and Wolves want to snap him up.

As per Mike McGrath of The Telegraph, both Aston Villa and Wolves have set their sights on Dawson. It would be a surprising transfer given he is 32 years old and essentially in the twilight years of his career.

Nevertheless, Sky Sports state both West Midlands clubs have sent offers for Dawson.

West Ham are hoping to keep him but know his priority is to go back to the Midlands to be closer to his family. As such, they could accept one of the proposals and bring in a replacement.

Moyes and West Ham have turned their attention to Jan Bednarek as Dawson’s possible successor.

Jan Bednarek could replace Craig Dawson at West Ham

Incidentally, Villa have previously been in talks with Southampton over his signature.

West Ham want to land the Pole on loan. It’s unclear whether they will include the option to buy in the deal.

Bednarek is younger than Dawson, as he is 26. This suggests Moyes and West Ham officials are looking to future-proof their squad.

However, Bednarek is more prone to mistakes than Dawson, which could end up costing West Ham points.

Villa and Wolves are currently racing to strike an agreement with West Ham for Dawson, before the other gets to him first.

It is a good position for West Ham to be in, as it means they might be able to charge more for the ex-Watford man.

Dawson is also in a good position. He can speak with Villa and Wolves and potentially get them to up their wage offers amid the transfer race.

Signing Dawson would fit in with Steven Gerrard’s aim of bringing one or two more players to Villa Park.

On Tuesday, the manager said: “It’s possible we’ll be doing more. There are one or two things that we’re analysing.

“As I’ve said in previous press conferences, if things go our way we could have one or two new faces in. It’s not as straightforward as people think.

“We’ll try and do our best, and I know people are working hard in the background to try and support me in those areas.

“We’ve spoken before about the blow from (Diego) Carlos because he was a statement signing who was going to come in and help us. Missing him has certainly been felt in the last few games.”

Villa must also keep their core group of players. To ward rival teams off Douglas Luiz’s trail, they are reportedly planning to offer him a new contract.