Tuesday morning brought news of Norwich City interest in Grant Hanley.
The Canaries having shown interest a year ago when Newcastle signed him from Blackburn.
No time to lose with only two days until the window closes and now reports from media in East Anglia (Eastern Daily Press) and beyond (Press Association, Football Insider) are reporting that a fee has been agreed between Newcastle and Norwich, with Grant Hanley said to be having his medical today (Sky Sports saying Wednesday).
Hopefully Hanley can be added to the departed de Jong and Riviere, with fingers crossed others to follow.
The Mag – Earlier Today (29 August 2017):
Grant Hanley could be on his way out of St James Park.
Rafa Benitez has managed to shift Emmanuel Riviere and Siem de Jong in recent days, with Hanley another on his hit list.
The centre-back was one of the players who weren’t even included in the public training session at St James Park 11 days ago (see below), as the United boss tries to force unwanted players out of the club.
Last summer Norwich City were competing with Newcastle for the signature of Grant Hanley and now the Chronicle say that the Canaries have registered their interest in the former Blackburn defender.
Norwich are in a bit of a mess at the minute and third from bottom, they have conceded more goals (12) than any other Championship club, so a new defensive leader needed.
Hopes of getting Grant Hanley off the wage bill looked to have crashed and burnt when Rafa Benitez protected his first team players and made 10 changes for the Forest cup match.
Not many players enhanced their reputations but Hanley was easily the worst player on the pitch, looking more like he had been on a month’s all inclusive holiday than pre-season training, he put in a dismal display as he puffed and panted chasing shadows of a Forest team who had made six changes themselves.
Fingers crossed on this one and best of luck to Norwich…
The Mag – 18 August 2017:
Thursday morning saw the annual opportunity for fans to watch the Newcastle players go through their paces in a public training session.
Falling in the school holidays, no surprise that it was kids making up a large part of the crowd that gathered at St James Park. There were varying estimates of how many actually turned up, with the club claiming 12,000, whilst Sky Sports and The Mail went with around 5,000 in attendance.
A good (free!) morning/day out anyway, though a shame that those mad, mad, days of Kevin Keegan are well in the past, when fans went along any day they fancied to watch the likes of Cole, Beardsley and the rest in their training sessions down at Maiden Castle.
As the Newcastle supporters watched the likes of new signing Joselu impressing in the sunshine, attention was also drawn to both who was AND wasn’t involved in the public training exercise.
Altogether, eight senior players were missing on Thursday morning.
Two were easily explained, with Rafa not risking DeAndre Yedlin as he makes his way back from the injury sustained in pre-season, whilst Chancel Mbemba also was absent as he had a meeting regarding visa issues.
However, there is further evidence that Rafa Benitez is really tightening the screw when it comes to trying to push unwanted players out of the door.
Tim Krul, Achraf Lazaar and Emmanuel Riviere weren’t even given squad numbers last Friday, so no surprise to see them missing out yesterday.
However, the United boss preferred to bring in Curtis Good and Macauley Gillesphey from the reserve set-up to make up the numbers, rather than involving another trio of unwanted players.
Joining Krul, Lazaar and Riviere in being frozen out, were Massadio Haidara, Grant Hanley and Jack Colback.
The transfer window closes in only 13 days time and it will be a massive negative if these half dozen unwanted players (and others….?) aren’t found new homes and Rafa fails to bring in the other signings he desperately needs.