Report: Newcastle United enquire about signing Grant Hanley, defender keen on move

Grant Hanley of Blackburn Rovers

Rafael Benitez is hoping to add the Blackburn Rovers defender to his squad.

Blackburn's Grant Hanley

Newcastle United appear to have switched their immediate focus to securing defensive targets, and the Chronicle reports that they have enquired about signing Blackburn Rovers centre-back Grant Hanley.

The Magpies have released Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini this summer, moves which have left them light on numbers and leadership in the centre of defence.

Rafael Benitez was already thought to be closing in on the signing of Atletico Madrid defender Jesus Gamez, but it appears that he has now turned his attentions towards a man with more experience of English football.

Grant Hanley of Blackburn Rovers

According to the Chronicle, Newcastle have made an official enquiry to Blackburn Rovers about signing their captain Hanley as they look to further strengthen their backline.

The report suggests that the player is interested in making the move to St. James' Park, and Newcastle will hope that they can tempt the Lancashire club into selling.

Grant Hanley celebrates after scoring the third goal for Blackburn

Though negotiations are still at a very early stage, it is thought that Benitez is hopeful of bringing in Hanley, as well as Gamez, by the end of the week as he continues to shape his squad.

Hanley would bring vital Championship nous to Tyneside; at the age of just 24 he has already racked up 200 appearances for his only professional club, and has been a regular fixture in the side in the second tier for the last four years after suffering relegation at Ewood Park.

Newcastle have already signed goalkeeper Matz Sels, winger Matt Ritchie, and forward Dwight Gayle this window, and the defence is now the key area which needs strengthening.

Blackburn Rovers Grant Hanley and Bristol City's Lee Tomlin in action

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