We had reported yesterday that Newcastle were interested in signing 24 year-old Blackburn Rovers’ center-back Grant Hanley – and it could well be Grant is one of the four players manager Rafa Benitez hopes to sign in the next week, with the first signing supposedly taking place this weekend at some point.
The other big center-back Newcastle have been linked with is QPR’s talented Steven Caulker and we are hoping we can get either Steven in or Grant Hanley in over the next seven days.
Grant Hanley – Scottish International center-back
The Shields Gazette is reporting today Newcastle are contemplating a £5M bid for the 20 times capped Scottish International, but if that’s true it means he isn’t one of the four.
According to Rafa those four signings are almost done and dusted, so Grant looks like he’s another potential defender that could be coming through the door.
The positive for Newcastle is that the 6ft 3ins tall defender has played for Blackburn over the last four seasons in the Championship and he has plenty of experience in England’s second division.
But players Rafa brings in have also to be good enough to be able to form the basis of the team that hopefully will be back in the Premier League next season.
That’s one reason why Newcastle fans are so anxious to see the caliber of player Rafa can attract to the club this summer, with the Spanish manager looking to increase the level of experience in the squad.
Rafa also wants to balance the squad which was short of good defenders last season.
Center-back has been a weakness at Newcastle for a while now and Steven Taylor has already gone and there are also big doubts about whether Fab Coloccini will be here much longer, so maybe Rafa has to bring in two center-backs this summer.
If those two are Steven Caulker and Grant Hanley, we wouldn’t have too many complaints, because Rafa Benitez can make both of them better players with his expert coaching.
Grant has played 200 times for Blackburn with 9 goals and has two years left on his Ewood Park contract.
We are hoping that we can sign our first player this weekend and then have three more come in next week.
Pre-season training starts on Tuesday at the refurbished Benton Training grounds, which is one reason Benitez is anxious for new players to be coming through the door and have a full pre-season.