West Ham and Crystal Palace have entered the race to sign in-demand Sunderland academy prospect Josh Hawkes and could make a move this summer, according to teamTALK.
Hawkes is a player that has attracted a lot of attention in recent times and it has been reported by teamTALK that Premier League clubs including Leeds United and Newcastle United were interested in him last summer. While there was also an offer rejected from Portuguese club Sporting Braga for his services in that window.
According to teamTALK, Leeds and Newcastle both retain an interest in Hawkes, who has managed to star for the club’s under-23s this campaign and helped them reach the final of the Premier League play-offs. However, despite his promising form Lee Johnson has yet to call him up to the senior squad at Sunderland and that could put them at risk of losing him this summer.
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The latest report from teamTALK reveals that West Ham and Crystal Palace are now also interested in making a move for Hawkes this summer. Those two clubs are thought to be leading the way for his signature at the moment, and it seems that Sunderland are going to have to brace themselves to lose the talented 21-year-old.
This seems ominous for the Black Cats, and it is going to be very difficult for them to convince Hawkes to remain with the club considering that he is not being given the first-team chances he perhaps feels he might have earned with his form for the youth team. Johnson has been reluctant to throw him in at this point, which is perhaps strange considering he has not been afraid to give younge players a chance before.
West Ham have been recruiting very sensibly from the lower leagues in recent times and this would be another potentially excellent pick up for them. You could see Hawkes emerging as an excellent player in the coming seasons and he might well be able to flourish in the environment around the Hammers at the moment under David Moyes.
Meanwhile, Palace are known for giving young exciting attacking players a chance to perform in the top-flight. It could be an ideal destination for him to move to and show his class. While Leeds and Newcastle could also have a say in where he ends up. It does seem Sunderland might have to resign themselves to losing him at this point.