Newcastle United in double defensive breakthrough for Atletico Madrid full-back Jesus Gamez and Blackburn's Grant Hanley

Newcastle United hope to make a double defensive breakthrough before the team heads to Ireland.

Friday, 8th July 2016, 8:20 am
Updated Friday, 8th July 2016, 9:22 am
Grant Hanley

The Magpies are close to securing a deal for Atletico Madrid full-back Jesus Gamez and Blackburn’s Grant Hanley is also a target.

Newcastle are pushing to sign a central defender after the departures of Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor.

Hanley is high up the shortlist of players drawn up by manager Rafa Benitez, though United have also inquired about QPR’s Steven Caulker.

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Arsenal’s Isaac Hayden and Bristol City’s Aden Flint have also been considered by Benitez.

Benitez, keen to add Championship experience to his squad, takes his players to Ireland next week for a pre-season training camp.

United will take on Bohemian in Dublin on July 16 before returning to Tyneside.

Blackburn are yet to receive a formal bid from Newcastle for £5million-rated Hanley, who is also interesting Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday.