Aston Villa have beaten West Ham to the signing of Southampton defender Jan Bednarek, according to a report.
West Ham were hunting for a replacement for Craig Dawson. Dawson is keen on a return to the midlands and Wolves were thought to be leading the chase for the experienced defender. The Molineux club were expected to wrap up a deal for Dawson today for around £5m.
However, that deal could now be in doubt after the Hammers failed to land Bednarek. The Hammers had put an offer in for the 26-year-old centre-back, but the player has opted for a move to Villa.
Steven Gerrard’s men made an approach for the Poland international two weeks ago. A serious injury to Diego Carlos forced Gerrard’s hand and an agreement is now in place, reports The Athletic.
Bednarek is heading north to pass a medical and sign the relevant paperwork.
The former Lech Poznan defender is looking for regular game time with the World Cup around the corner. He has made two starts in the Premier League this season, but has been left on the bench in the last three games.
Although Saints were aware of interest in Bednarek earlier this month, they now have little time to draft in cover.
Caleta-Car to replace Bednarek?
Saints have also allowed centre-back Jack Stephens to join Bournemouth on a season-long loan.
Stephens, 28, has moved along the south coast after 11 years at Southampton. It means Hasenhuttl is definitely chasing a replacement.
Ralph Hasenhuttl did try and land Liverpool defender Nat Phillips. But The Atheltic report that Jurgen Klopp was reluctant to sanction a deal.
Phillips, 25, has made one Premier League appearance this season and the Reds want to keep him as cover.
Phillips, who was loaned to Bournemouth last season, remains under contract until 2025. but he recently admitted he wanted first-team action.
“Ultimately I want to be playing games but you’ve got to take it week-by-week. You can never look too far into the future because you never know what might happen,” said Phillips.
Marseille’s Croatian defender Duje Caleta-Car is being lined up on a permanent deal.