By Amir Mir

Blackburn defender Grant Hanley wants to make a switch to Newcastle ahead of rivals as the race for his signature hots up.

As reported by Football Insider, the Magpies have had several offers for the £8million-rated defender rejected by his club, as championship rivals Norwich show interest in the player.

The Chronicle are reporting that Hanley has made it clear that his preferred destination is Newcastle as manager Rafa Benitez looks to add depth to his defensive line.

The defender was left out of Rovers’ hour-long friendlies on Saturday against Morecambe and Bury, indicating that he could be heading for the exit door.

Former Real Madrid manager Benitez is on the lookout for new defenders after the departures of Fabio Coloccini and Steven Taylor.

Blackburn boss Owen Coyle revealed that Hanley is attracting constant interest for his services and the decision to sell him is out of his hands.

“I don’t think Newcastle are the only club who are admirers of Grant. I can’t do anything about that,” said Coyle as quoted by the Chronicle.

“All I can do is pass my football opinion on to the owners. I’ve said that I don’t want to lose Grant Hanley. Clubs keep knocking at our door and making offers. Newcastle have made the offers but a couple of other clubs have intimated they are very interested.”

Blackburn have received a number of bids of around £5million but are holding are for their £8million valuation to be met.

Bentiez will want to make a swift transfer as he prepares for the forthcoming Championship season with Newcastle travelling to Fulham on August 5.

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.

In the latest Newcastle transfer news, the clubs highly rated goalkeeper is confident about his future on Tyneside after holding positive talks with the club.