The Premier League season is drawing to a close and, after a lengthy struggle, West Ham have assured themselves of a spot in the top-flight next season.
The Hammers have plenty of work to do in the months ahead to restructure the squad to become more competitive at both ends of the field and defence should certainly be a priority.
James Collins looks set to leave at the end of his contract, while there’s also uncertainty surrounding the futures of Winston Reid and Reece Oxford – and departures in the defence could cause a real issue.
Young Declan Rice has excelled in his rise to the first-team this season and should certainly remain in the heart of the defence for years to come but he needs a reliable and experienced partner.
Fortunately, West Ham may have the opportunity to buy exactly that as The Daily Mail state Newcastle and Celtic are plotting a move for West Brom centre-half Craig Dawson.
Valued at £15m, Dawson is set to leave the Baggies following the club’s relegation to the Championship and West Ham should make a move to push to the front of the queue.
Dawson would certainly prefer to remain in the Premier League rather than move to Scottish football, while Newcastle’s finances are hardly secure – and that leaves the door open for the Hammers to swoop.
At 28, Dawson is in the prime years of his career and would prove to be the perfect partner to help Rice develop.