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.
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.
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.