Grant Hanley £4.5m? Newcastle must be joking says Blackburn boss Owen Coyle

Newcastle United are hopeful of a defensive breakthrough ahead of their opening pre-season friendly.

Friday, 15th July 2016, 5:00 am
Grant Hanley (left)
Grant Hanley (left)

Rafa Benitez needs to strengthen his defence after the departures of Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor.

United have had two bids for Blackburn Rovers’ Grant Hanley rejected and Rovers manager Owen Coyle has warned their their second £4.5million offer was “nowhere near” enough to land the 24-year-old.

The Magpies have also inquired about Queens Park Rangers’ Steven Caulker, while Bristol City’s Aden Flint has also been considered.

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Sheffield Wednesday’s Tom Lees has also been linked with United, who open their pre-season campaign with a friendly against Bohemian at Dalymount Park, Dublin tomorrow (2pm kick-off).

Blackburn have been expecting an improved offer for Grant, who is valued at £6million by Newcastle’s Championship rivals.

And Coyle feels United’s own £35million valuation of unsettled midfielder Moussa Sissoko, a target for Borussia Dortmund, backs up his argument.

Asked about the first two bids, Coyle said: “For me, that is nowhere near the valuation of Grant Hanley.

“We don’t want to lose him, we’re not trying to sell him and nobody here is saying ‘bring me bids.’

“I can’t stop other clubs from admiring our players because I do it with other clubs myself.

“I’ve seen the other day I think Newcastle were at £35m for Moussa Sissoko, and he is an outstanding player, but please don’t then offer me £4.5m for Grant.”

United manager Benitez expects outgoings as well as incomings in the coming weeks.

Cheick Tiote could be the next departure, while there is also a question mark over the future of another of their midfielders, Georginio Wijnaldum.

Benitez said: “We’re working hard behind the scenes to bring in more players.

“As I have said before we are close to some of them, hopefully we can do it.

“We have to be open to offers if somebody is interested.

“We don’t want to sell, but if somebody comes we have to make sure we do the right things for the club.”

Newcastle’s five summer signings so far could all feature against Bohemian.