David Moyes criticises Wolves move for Craig Dawson as West Ham boss fires back

Unsettled: Wolves want to  sign Dawson again  (AFP via Getty Images)
Unsettled: Wolves want to sign Dawson again (AFP via Getty Images)

West Ham boss David Moyes believes Wolves’ bid for Craig Dawson has destabilised his preparations for Saturday’s crucial meeting between the sides, and says the centre-back will not be considered for the trip to Molinuex.

Moyes revealed on Friday that Wolves have made a fresh offer for Dawson, having failed with a late attempt to sign the defender last summer after the Hammers ran out of time to secure a replacement before the deadline.

West Ham are yet to respond to the new bid, but Dawson - who is in the final six months of his contract - is keen on the switch as he looks to move north in order to be closer to his young family in Cheshire.

West Ham travel to the Midlands in 17th-place, outside the relegation zone on goal-difference and just a point clear of their second-bottom opponents.

“[Dawson] won’t be available tomorrow,” said Moyes, who refused to expand on the reason for the 32-year-old’s omission. When asked whether Dawson was injured, Moyes added: “I’m just saying he is not available tomorrow.”

The timing of Saturday’s game puts Moyes in an awkward position, with Kurt Zouma only just returning to fitness after knee surgery. Should the Frenchman not be deemed ready to start, the Hammers boss will have to choose between the out-of-form Thilo Kehrer - who may be needed at right-back - or veteran defender Angelo Ogbonna to partner Nayef Aguerd.

Asked about the destabilising effect of an opposition bid immediately before a game, Moyes said: “By the way it is, yeah, I agree with you.

“But let’s be fair, if we are being honest Wolves tried to buy Daws in the summer and we said no at that time.

“It is just part of what you do - I might bid for one of them after the game and see how it goes!”

Wolves also have interest in Hammers forward Michail Antonio, though Moyes insisted the club are yet to receive any formal approach.

Antonio told Standard Sport last month that he had been unhappy with his role playing second fiddle to summer signing Gianluca Scamacca so far this season, and Moyes admitted managing an enlarged squad has been a challenge following eight new offseason arrivals.

Wanted: Wolves are keen on Michail Antonio as well as Craig Dawson (Getty Images)
Wanted: Wolves are keen on Michail Antonio as well as Craig Dawson (Getty Images)

“That’s part of being a manager,” Moyes said. “Everyone was telling us to get a striker and the minute you get one the other one thinks they aren’t playing and not getting game time.

“Behind the scenes you are always trying to keep a good team spirit and in the main we have done that. we have added competition and the players need to be ready to challenge.

“That’s something we are looking for them to stand up and get back to your levels, not just Mick.”