We expected Atletico Madrid full-back Jesus Gamez to have signed for Newcastle yesterday, but that didn’t happen.
But there’s news in the Shields Gazette today that Newcastle are very close to a double signing and it seems that Blackburn center-back Grant Hanley could well be the other signing.
At the moment Grant Hanley is only said to be a target but it’s clear that Rafa Benitez would like both players on the plane to Ireland tomorrow – if at all possible.
Jesus Gamez – expected to sign yesterday
Benitez is keen to bring in a center-back after the departures of Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor in the summer and Mike Williamson last January.
There are also other center-backs who Newcastle have enquired about this summer and they include Arsenal’s Isaac Hayden and Queens Park Rangers’ Steven Caulker.
We were also linked with Bristol City’s Aden Flint yesterday, so there could still be a surprise about which center-back Rafa brings in.
Apparently there has been no formal bid yet – as of yesterday – for Blackburn’s Grant Hanley, who is valued at around £5M.
Grant seems happy at Blackburn as he had this to say recently about the only club he has ever played for at the senior level:
“I love this club and that’s not going to change.”
“I’ve been here since I was a young boy and every day I come in and work as hard as I possibly can, and every time I go on that pitch I fight for this club and give everything I’ve got.”
“That’ll never change. Unless I’m told otherwise, I’ll continue to give 110% for this club.”
Grant has played 200 times with 9 goals for Blackburn Rovers since joining them as a 16 year-old from Rangers in 2008.
Hanley made his debut for the club in 2010 as an 18 year-old against West Ham United.
When Scott Dann left for Crystal Palace in January 2014, Hanley was appointed captain of the club.
The Sun is reporting today that Grant is very keen to join Rafa Benitez at Newcastle, but that new Rovers boss Owen Coyle doesn’t want to lose his captain, which is understandable.