Report: Newcastle United's Grant Hanley may be offered escape route by Fulham

Rafael Benitez, the Newcastle manager shouts instructions during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United at John Smith's Stadium on August 20, 2017 in...

Try as they might, Newcastle United still haven't found a buyer for Grant Hanley - though Fulham's interest offers some hope.

Grant Hanley of Newcastle United in action during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Oxford United and Newcastle United at Kassam Stadium on January 28, 2017 in Oxford, England.

You’d be forgiven for forgetting Grant Hanley was still a Newcastle United player. Rafael Benitez certainly seems unaware of the defender’s existence, with the Scotland international barely getting a look in since moving from Blackburn Rovers for £6 million last summer, as reported by the Daily Mail.

After an unimpressive debut in an opening day defeat to Fulham twelve months ago, Hanley was only given four more starts by Benitez and his most recent appearance came in January’s humiliating 3-0 FA Cup defeat at League One Oxford United.

However, despite being linked with a move away from St James’ Park for a number of months, Hanley is still a member of Newcastle’s squad after links with the likes of Aston Villa, Derby County and Wolves came to nothing.

Grant Hanley of Newcastle United is challenged by Billy Waters of Cheltenham Town during the EFL Cup second round match between Newcastle United and Cheltenham Town at St. James' Park on...

Yet, with just a week remaining in the transfer window, the former Blackburn skipper could finally be offered an escape route out of Tyneside. WestLondonSport reports that Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic is on the lookout for a new centre-back with Hanley on his wish list.

The report suggests that Bristol City’s man mountain Aden Flint is Jokanovic’s first-choice, however, while Watford’s Northern Irish international Craig Cathcart is also an option.

Aden Flint of Bristol City during the pre season match between Bristol City and FC Twente at Ashton Gate on July 28, 2017 in Bristol, England.

Furthermore, the Fulham hierarchy are said to be less keen on signing a new defender after Marcelo Djalo and Tomas Kalas arrived at Craven Cottage this summer to increase Jokanovic’s options.

Yet, Newcastle may be hoping that Fulham find room in their squad for Hanley with the 25-year-old falling further down the pecking order at St James following the signing of Florian Lejeune from Eibar.

The Express reported earlier in the window that Newcastle would demand £5.5 million for Hanley but it remains to be seen whether they will reduce their asking price with little time left to conclude a deal.

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