By Harvey Byrne
Newcastle will table a fourth bid for Blackburn defender Grant Hanley as Norwich try to hijack their rivals’ pursuit, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claim that Norwich have joined the Magpies in the race to sign Hanley with Blackburn wanting £8million for their captain.
The defender was left out of Rovers’ hour long friendlies on Saturday against Morecambe and Bury, indicating that the defender could be heading for the exit door.
It is said that the Magpies have offered £5.5million for the Scotland international, which has been matched by the Canaries, and it is believed that the Ewood Park club are expecting a further bid from Newcastle for their within the next 24 hours.
Rafa Benitez is reportedly keen to add another centre-back to his squad after releasing Steven Taylor and losing club captain Fabrizio Coloccini to Argentinian side San Lorenzo.
In addition to Hanley, it is claimed that they have asked about Tom Lees at Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham’s Fernando Amorebieta, but it is assumed that the 24-year-old Blackburn defender is Benitez’ top target.
With Newcastle preparing for a Championship season it appears the former Real Madrid boss feels Hanley could provide some much needed leadership to the squad, after they slumped to a disappointing relegation from the Premier League.
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.
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 £27million on those five players.
In other Newcastle transfer news, the Magpies have joined the chase for West Ham striker Diafra Sakho.