Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has confirmed that the deal to sign Grant Hanley from Blackburn Rovers is “close.” The Magpies previously had two bids rejected for the 24 year old but it is believed that the two clubs have agreed a fee of £5.5million to allow the move to St James’ Park to take place
Speaking after Newcastle’s 2-2 draw with Doncaster Rovers in a friendly at the Keepmoat stadium last night, the Spaniard revealed to the Evening Chronicle:
“It looks like it could be close, but we still have to wait because in football you always have to finalise things. At the moment, it is still a case of waiting with him.”
Pictures have emerged of Rovers captain Hanley already on Tyneside as he looks to finalise a move. Newcastle are looking to shore up a backline which currently has only two senior centre backs in the squad in Jamaal Lascelles and Chancel Mbemba. The departures of Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini on free transfers have left Benitez lacking in experienced defenders and he may well look at purchasing another centre half in addition to Hanley before the end of the transfer window.