Benitez has revealed that he is interested in securing the services of the Scotland international this summer.
"It is something that I am aware of as I am talking every day with (managing director) Lee Charnley,” Benitez told The Shields Gazette when asked how close Newcastle were to signing Hanley. "He's in charge of the signings and the business. I cannot talk too much about that."
Hanley has been on the books of Blackburn his entire professional career so far and has a contract with the Championship club until June 2018, according to Transfermarkt.co.uk.
The Scotland international scored two goals and created 12 chances in 44 Championship appearances for Rovers last season.
The defender had a pass accuracy of 69% and a shot accuracy of 29%, and won 206 headers, 13 dribbles and 63 tackles.
Newcastle will play in the Championship next season after getting relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2015-16 campaign.
The Magpies will be one of the favourites to win the Championship title, while Rovers will be aiming for the playoffs.