Hanley Deal Proving Difficult – Hayden Signing Expected Today

We didn’t expect new Blackburn Rovers manager Owen Coyle to want to sell his captain and best player Grant Hanley and it seems that if Newcastle want to sign the 24 year-old  Scottish International center-back  they will have to bid higher – higher than the second bid of £4.5M Newcastle put in yesterday.

Grant did not feature at all in Blackburn’s first friendly of the season last night when they beat  SV Ried 1-0 in Austria with the only goal coming from Gateshead-born Danny Graham – the former Sunderland striker.

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Grant Hanley – Blackburn don’t want to sell

Blackburn said that Hanley had picked up an injury on Friday in training.

Owen Coyle was interviewed after last night’s game and had this to say about his captain:

“I don’t want to sell Grant. Can’t stop clubs enquiring about your players. In my opinion they’re nowhere near the valuation of Grant.”

So assuming Newcastle lodged their second bid yesterday afternoon it would appear £4.5M is still not enough and Blackburn’s Indian owners, the Venky’s family, can be difficult negotiators.

Of course Rafa Benitez does have alternatives he can turn to if he thinks Grant is now too expensive,  so it will be interesting to see if anything materializes on the potential Hanley transfer today.

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Isaac Hayden – signing should be announced today

But we expect 21 year-old defensive utility player Isaac Hayden to be announced soon as Newcastle’s 5th signing of the summer, with Sky Sports reporting yesterday the Arsenal player will sign a five year deal with the fee reported via other outlets to be around £2.5M.

The news was issued on Sky Sports’ Pete Graves’ Twitter account late yesterday afternoon.

This looks like another great signing by Rafa Benitez.

Finally, the Newcastle squad touched down in Ireland late yesterday afternoon and had a training session almost immediately as the week-long training, fitness and bonding camp got under way.

Rafa took a 26 man squad to County Kildare, but strangely it did not include goalkeeper Tim Krul – so there are rumors he could be sold.

We should get the news soon that Isaac Hayden is Newcastle’s 5th signing this summer – that would be good news for this Sunday morning.

Comments welcome.