Grant Hanley of Blackburn Rovers is being pursued by Newcastle United
Newcastle United's pursuit of Blackburn Rovers' defender Grant Hanley is showing no signs of slowing down, with The Daily Mail reporting that the Magpies have tabled a third bid of around £5.5 million for the Scotland international.
With Rovers holding out for more money, however, it would be a wise move for Newcastle to drop their interest in Hanley, and focus on Brighton & Hove Albion's Lewis Dunk as an alternative.
Both players are of a similar style and stature, with Dunk standing an inch taller than Hanley at 6 ft 4 in. They are both huge presences at the heart of their club's defences, and can be considerable threats from set pieces - Dunk especially.
Lewis Dunk would make a great alternative to Hanley
The Brighton centre-half scored four goals in 41 appearances for the Seagulls last term, twice the amount managed by Hanley in 5 fewer games.
The main reason that Dunk would be a better fit for Newcastle is his range of passing and composure in possession. His ability on the ball is conducive with teams that like to play out from the back, something that Rafa Benitez has always encouraged his side's to do.
The North East outfit would probably meet just as much resistance in the chase for Dunk as they have in their pursuit of Hanley, but should still make every effort possible to sign the Brighton defender.
Brighton's Lewis Dunk would be ideal for Newcastle's style of play under Benitez
He has the perfect combination of fantastic aerial ability and wonderful ball-playing skills, and would be the absolute ideal signing to add to the other impressive acquisitions made during the Rafa Revolution.
It is an area of the pitch where Benitez desperately needs to strengthen, and the ideal scenario for the club would be to bring in both Dunk and Hanley, but it is more realistic that they will only be able to get one deal done, and they should seriously consider making that signing the former rather than the latter.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez should consider Lewis Dunk as an option