By Harry Sykes
Newcastle have lined up Fulham defender Fernando Amorebieta as an alternative to Grant Hanley, according to a report.
Newcastle lodged a third bid for Hanley this week of £5.5million as they try to improve their defence from last season.
But Blackburn manager Owen Coyle has insisted that the club’s valuation has not been met and that he does not plan on losing his key centre-back.
The Mail transfer blog claims Magpies boss Rafael Benitez has now turned his attention to Amorebieta, 31.
The Fulham man’s versatility – he can play at centre-back and left-back – makes him an attractive proposition for Benitez as he is also in the market for a left-back.
Amorebieta joined Fulham from Athletic Bilbao in 2013 and has made 48 appearances for the west London side.
The Venezuela international spent 10 seasons at Bilbao prior to his move to Craven Cottage and helped the La Liga club reach the finals of the Europa League in 2012 and Copa del Rey in 2008 and 2012.
Amorebieta is entering the final year of his contract at Fulham and the London could be willing to let him leave this summer rather than risk letting him run down his contract.
The Toon conceded 65 goals last term as they were relegated into the second tier of English football for the second time in seven years.
The former Real Madrid manager is keen to add another centre-back to his squad after releasing Steven Taylor and losing club captain Fabrizio Coloccini to Argentinian side San Lorenzo.
Benitez has already completed the signings of defensive duo Matz Sels and Jesus Gamez this summer, as well as Isaac Hayden, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle further up the pitch.
They have been by far the biggest spenders in the league so far this summer having spent a reported £27.million on those five players.
In other Newcastle transfer news, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has revealed that he hired a person trainer to help him shed some weight before the season commences.