West Ham have set their sights on converting Craig Dawson’s loan from Watford into a permanent deal, Football Insider understands.

The centre-back, 30, joined the Irons for the season in October to provide squad cover in defence.

But Dawson has taken his chance with a string of impressive performances in recent months which has cemented himself as first choice in the side and led to calls for the club to sign him permanently.

West Ham inserted an option to buy Dawson in the loan agreement and that can be triggered at the end of the season.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that the Londoners are keen to sign the defender permanently and will look to do so in the coming months before the campaign ends.

Watford were willing to do business at £3million in the January window but West Ham stopped short of doing so.

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That is still the asking price for the for the experienced operator, who is playing some of the best football of his career.

Dawson had to wait for his chance at West Ham but has now started their last 10 Premier League matches.

They maintained their remarkable run by reeling off another win in Sunday’s 2-1 triumph over Tottenham.

West Ham only signed Rochdale-born Dawson after seeing multiple other defender deals collapse in the last summer window.

As revealed by Football Insider, they had tabled bids for the likes of Napoli ace Nikola Maksimovic and Swansea City prospect Joe Rodon, while they saw Bayer Leverkusen pull the plug on a deadline-day move for Jonathan Tah.

In other news, finance expert Kieran Maguire has delivered his verdict on David Sullivan’s £600million West Ham valuation and what happens next after talks.