Newcastle must pay Brighton £10m for Anthony Knockaert

Newcastle United will have to bid upwards of £10million to land Anthony Knockaert.

Saturday, 30th July 2016, 12:49 am
Updated Saturday, 30th July 2016, 1:54 am
Brighton & Hove Albion winger Anthony Knockaert

The Brighton and Hove Albion winger has emerged as a summer target for the Magpies.

United manager Rafa Benitez wants to sign another wide player for the new Championship season.

And Newcastle, who take on Vitesse Arnhem at St James’s Park this afternoon (3pm kick-off), has financial muscle following last week’s sale of Georginio Wijnaldum to Liverpool for £25million.

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SportMail understands that Newcastle have inquired about the 24-year-old, who had a previous spell in England with Leicester City.

But Brighton are desperate to hold on to Knockaert, signed from Standard Liege for £2.6million in January, and manager Chris Hughton is under no pressure to sell.

The Seagulls have already knocked back offers for defender Lewis Dunk and midfielder Dale Stephens this summer from Crystal Palace and Burnley respectively.

And chairman Tony Bloom wants to keep Hughton’s squad together ahead of a renewed promotion challenge.

Meanwhile, Grant Hanley’s playing catch-up with his fitness ahead of the new campaign.

The defender, signed from Blackburn Rovers for a £5.5million fee last week, came off the bench against Southend United at Roots Hall on Tuesday night to make his debut.

The 24-year-old missed Blackburn’s early pre-season games because of the “speculation” about his future – and he needs to quickly get up to speed.

Benitez will give him a run out in this afternoon’s final friendly.

“Because of the speculation he was not training properly with the (Blackburn) team,” said Benitez.

“So I think he needs to start playing and training. He has to wait. It’s a question of time.”

Benitez will assess Hanley’s fitness next week.