One thing we can be sure about now, is that Rafa Benitez definitely wants Grant Hanley.
Whether Newcastle actually sign the Blackburn defender is another matter.
The latest Newcastle bid for Grant Hanley is £4.5m but Rovers boss Owen Coyle has said that is ‘nowhere near the valuation’ both he and Blackburn have on the player.
Coyle also states that he doesn’t want to sell the 6ft 3 defender but he ‘can’t stop clubs enquiring about your players’.
As Blackburn’s Captain and best player, it is little wonder that at £4.5m (Newcastle’s opening offer is reported to have been £3.5m) the Lancashire club haven’t shown any interest in taking the money.
However, Owen Coyle isn’t stating that the player simply isn’t for sale, the clear message appears to be that he accepts that if Newcastle meet Blackburn’s valuation, whatever that may be, then Grant Hanley will be moving to Tyneside.
With Rafa Benitez having the authority to wheel and deal, the nonsense of the past when the club would claim that if their first offer wasn’t accepted then they would walk away from any transfer, is long gone.
Obviously there is bargaining to be done but if Rafa sees Hanley as a first choice player next season, then we can surely expect an offer closer to Blackburn’s valuation to be made by Newcastle.
I also wonder whether Newcastle could possibly ease the deal through with the help of offering any fringe players as part of the deal, either on loan or a permanent basis?
Lancashire Telegraph’s Paul Wheelock who is on tour with Blackburn in Austria, Owen Coyle was speaking after Rovers beat SV Ried 1-0 on Saturday thanks to a goal from Newcastle fan and former Sunderland striker Danny Graham.
However, Grant Hanley didn’t play due to ‘injury’.
Owen Coyle asked about Newcastle’s latest £4.5m offer:
‘I don’t want to sell Grant. Can’t stop clubs enquiring about your players. In my opinion they’re nowhere near the valuation of Grant.’