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Watford keen on West Brom defender Craig Dawson

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Watford have joined the race for Albion defender Craig Dawson – who is likely to be sold this transfer window.

Craig Dawson (AMA)

The Hornets were interested in the centre-back last summer but their offer was well below Albion’s asking price.

However, the 29-year-old only has one year left on his contract and the Baggies are expected to cash in to help new boss Slaven Bilic rebuild the squad.

Dawson handed in a transfer request last summer and was so keen to leave The Hawthorns he even stopped wearing club attire to the training ground.

He also refused to attend Albion’s pre-season training camp to Portugal under Darren Moore.

But neither Watford nor Burnley matched the asking price and he was slowly reintegrated into the team.

He went on to play 45 games in total last season, and finished a mixed season strongly.

Dawson scored in the 1-0 win over rivals Villa in the final game of the season to take the play-off semi-final to penalties.

Burnley have also been linked with the defender, although their need for a right-sided centre-half isn’t thought to be desperate.

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Albion could turn to West Ham’s Reece Oxford as a replacement, and are believed to be interested in the young centre-back.

But reports the Baggies now can sign loan star Dwight Gayle permanently from Newcastle are wide of the mark.

When the season finished, technical director Luke Dowling revealed Albion could not afford Gayle’s Premier League wage packet and that remains the case.

The Baggies will also have to sell Salomon Rondon this summer because he only has one year left on his contract and has no intentions of returning to Albion.

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Although his preferred destination is Newcastle, where he spent last season on loan, he is also open to a move to Wolves.

Albion are expected to announce two members of Bilic’s backroom staff today after appointments over the weekend.

Elsewhere, former managerial target Slavisa Jokanovic has taken over at Qatar club side Al Gharafa.

The ex-Fulham boss was keen to join the Baggies when Darren Moore was sacked in March.

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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