Manager Owen Coyle has now admitted that it will be down to the Blackburn Rovers owner, whether or not they sell star player and Captain Grant Hanley.
This transfer saga has now dragged on far too long and after seeing a number of bids rejected, it appears as though Newcastle are simply waiting to see if the Venkys (Blackburn’s owners) will blink first.
Rovers need to generate some cash and it would appear now that they clearly accept that Grant Hanley will have to be sacrificed, with the only question now being how much they can get for him.
Seemingly in an effort to get some competition going and drive the price up, Owen Coyle has now made public that (allegedly) there are other clubs as well as Newcastle showing interest.
The media have claimed that one of those is Norwich but with Grant Hanley previously reported to be keen to join Newcastle, you would hope that United will be see as a more attractive proposition if any other clubs outside the Premier League bid for the centre-back.
After missing their friendly in Austria against SV Ried through a claimed injury problem, Owen Coyle has now came out in public to insist that it wasn’t transfer interest that kept Grant Hanley out of Blackburn’s double friendly at the weekend – Rovers playing for an hour against Bury and the same against Morecambe, both on Saturday afternoon.
Whilst Newcastle do have the promising partnership of Lascelles and Mbemba, plus 21 year old Isaac Hayden (supposedly signed as a defensive midfielder but played second half in defence against Bohemian FC on Saturday), it is clear that Rafa Benitez sees an essential need for at least one more experienced centre-back.
With only 19 days until the season kicks off, it must surely be very soon when Newcastle either do a deal for Grant Hanley or walk away.
Owen Coyle speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph:
“I don’t think Newcastle are the only club who are admirers of Grant.
“I can’t do anything about that. 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.
“Club 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.
“If those offers come in, we’ll have a look at them as a club, and it will be up to the owners to decide if they’re going to take them.
“I’ll just control what I control and take it from there.
“The speculation was nothing to do with Grant missing the games.
“He’s tweaked his knee. He worked really hard on Thursday and we thought if he came through (Friday’s) training then great.
“He did that but he felt a little reaction and because of that we thought it would be folly to take any chances today.
“Hopefully he can come in on Monday, get up and running, and we’ll take it from there.”