Hanley in sights as Magpies seek quick double defensive deal

Blackburn defender Grant Hanley

Blackburn defender Grant Hanley

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Newcastle United hope to make a double defensive breakthrough before the team heads to Ireland.

The Magpies, preparing for life in the Sky Bet Championship for the first time since 2010, are close to securing a deal for Atletico Madrid full-back Jesus Gamez.

And Newcastle are also pushing to sign a central defender after the departures of Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor.

Blackburn Rovers’ 24-year-old Grant Hanley is one of the players being considered by Rafa Benitez.

Newcastle have also enquired about QPR’s Steven Caulker – who is available this summer – while Arsenal’s Isaac Hayden and Bristol City’s Aden Flint have also been considered.

Benitez, keen to add Championship experience to his squad, takes his players to Ireland next week for a pre-season training camp. His men will face in Dublin next Saturday.

Blackburn are yet to receive a bid from Newcastle for £5million-rated Hanley, who is also interesting Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday.

Asked about his future at the end of last season, the Scotland international said: “I love this club and that’s not going to change.

“I’ve been here since I was a young boy and every day I come in and work as hard as I possibly can, and every time I go on that pitch I fight for this club and give everything I’ve got.

“That’ll never change. Unless I’m told otherwise, I’ll continue to give 110% for this club.”

Benitez suggested earlier this week that there were proposed deals for players “ready” to activated.

And the club’s focus this week has been on the need to bring in defensive reinforcements.

Captain Coloccini’s contract was terminated by “mutual consent” earlier this week, while long-serving Taylor turned down the offer of a new deal in June.