Fulham have made a £20m offer for Swansea City centre back Alife Mawson, according to reports circulating this evening.

The former England under-21 international has been heavily linked with a move away from south Wales following Swansea’s relegation from the Premier League. West Ham were the first club to show firm interest in the ball-playing centre back but had their initial offer rejected earlier this summer, whilst Burnley have recently been locked in talks with the Swans over a possible deal for the 24 year-old.

But with Burnley yet to meet Swansea’s valuation of the former Barnsley defender, Fulham seem to have stolen a march on the other interested parties by making another big-money move in their summer of considerable spending after being promoted to the Premier League. Slavisa Jokanovic is desperate to strengthen his defence, especially at centre back, with Denis Odoi – who completed the season at the heart of the Fulham back four – suspended following his sending off in the play-off final. Mawson’s confidence on the ball would fit Fulham’s possession-based style, but the Whites could still face stiff competition to land their man.

Mawson has impressed since stepping up to the Premier League having only made four Championship appearances for Barnsley – with a number of mature performances at the centre of the Swansea defence, including a man-of-the-match debut in a 0-0 home draw with Watford. Although he was unable to prevent Swansea’s eventual relegation last season, Mawson was an ever-present and was rewarded with a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the pre-World Cup friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy in March.

Mawson, who is likely to miss the start of the season as he recovers from recent knee surgery, told Swansea of his desire to continue to play top flight football and the club have long been preparing for his departure before the closure of the transfer window. The talented defender was born in Hillingdon and is thought to be open to a return to London.