By Tom Blackburn

Newcastle have made contact with Blackburn as they look to sign Grant Hanley and make him their second defensive signing in a whirlwind 24 hours, according to a report.

Football Insider reported on Thursday morning that Athletic Madrid defender Jesus Gamez is set to undergo a Magpies medical after talks were finalised on a deal that could be worth £5million.

Now, the Newcastle Chronicle claim the north-east giants hope to make their second defensive signing in 24 hours following an approach for Hanley.

The report says Newcastle made an enquiry for the 24-year-old earlier this week and the 6ft 3in centre-half is open to the move to St James’ Park. It is said the deal could be finalised by Friday.

There is currently a void at the heart of the Toon clubs defence after long term centre-half Fabio Coloccini announced he was quitting the club.

Scotland international Hanley has 23 caps and has made 183 league appearances for Blackburn Rovers, where he is currently their captain.

Spaniard Gamez has been in talks with the Magpies for the past week and is now ready to join Benitez’s Toon revolution.

Gamez has fallen down the pecking order after signing from Malaga two years ago and made only 10 La Liga appearances in 2015-16, with Juanfran being Diego Simeone’s preference for the right-back slot.

The pair will bring some experience to Benitez’s back four with the Gamez keen to taste life in England after spending his career with Malaga and Atletico.

Soon after Benitez won the race for Gamez as he closes in on his fourth summer signing following the captures of Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie and Matz Sels, he has turned his attention to Hanley.

In other Newcastle news, Matt Ritchie reveals why he snubbed the Premier League to join the Toon club.