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Wolves have “agreed” a fee for Craig Dawson

Wolverhampton Wanderers are reportedly closing in on the signing of West Ham United defender Craig Dawson, having missed out on the Englishman during the summer.

What’s the word?

That’s according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook, with the transfer insider revealing that an agreement has been reached to bring the 32-year-old to Molineux for a fee of around £3.3m.

Writing on Twitter about that impending move, the respected source stated: “#Wolves have agreed a £3.3m fee with #WHUFC for defender Craig Dawson and are hoping to get the deal completed in time for Sunday’s trip to #MCFC. Dawson is a long-term target who came close to joining in the summer.”

As noted by Crook, reports in the summer had suggested that the experienced centre-back was keen on joining the Midlands outfit, only for the Hammers to ultimately pull the plug on deadline day after failing to secure a replacement.

Coady 2.0

While the Old Gold did recruit Republic of Ireland international, Nathan Collins, during the summer window, the club were left somewhat depleted defensively after the reliable trio of Romain Saiss, Willy Boly and Conor Coady were all allowed to depart under Bruno Lage’s watch.

The exit of the latter man, in particular, proved particularly surprising as the long-serving skipper was allowed to join current relegation rivals Everton on loan, after having racked up 317 appearances for Wolves since 2015.

The old-school defender was undoubtedly something of a leader for the club both on and off the pitch, having led “by example” according to Lage, who also described him as “one of the best” back in March.

That importance to the side was laid bare last season as the England international started all 38 games for the club in the Premier League, keeping 11 clean sheets in that time and averaging 3.7 clearances per game to illustrate his defensive prowess.

The 29-year-old also proved something of a threat in an attacking sense in the 2021/22 campaign, having recorded a respectable haul of four league goals from his centre-back berth.

Current boss Julen Lopetegui could well find Coady 2.0 by bringing in the aforementioned Dawson, with the no-nonsense “warrior” – as lauded by West Ham boss David Moyes – also proving influential in both boxes.

The versatile rock – who can feature at the heart of the defence or at right-back – is evidently a player willing to put his body on the line for his side, with the former Watford man ranking in the top 6% among his European peers for blocks made.

Equally, the £45k-per-week brute – who has averaged 3.3 clearances and 1.3 tackles in eight top-flight games this season – is also something of a weapon in the opposition penalty area, having scored nine goals in 87 games for the Irons in all competitions.

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Bruno Lage on the touchline for Wolves.

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Although, like Coady, the Rochdale-born machine may not be the most glamourous of names, he does offer that workmanlike and hard-nosed defensive resilience that could well prove vital in the scrap for survival.

On the evidence of his form at the London Stadium in recent years, Dawson could well emerge as a truly astute, bargain capture for Lopetegui and co.