BLACKBURN Rovers boss Owen Coyle does not want to sell captain Grant Hanley.

Championship rivals Newcastle have seen bids of £3.5m and £4.5m for the Scotland international knocked back by Rovers.

Coyle described the offers from Rafa Benitez’s big-spending side as ‘nowhere near’ his valuation of Hanley.

But above all he has made it clear he does not want to lose the services of Rovers’ reigning player of the year.

Coyle said: “Number one, I don’t want to be selling Grant Hanley. I’ll say that openly.

“But obviously we can’t stops clubs from admiring our players. It’s the same with me. I admire players at other clubs and you go after them.

“But what I would also say is about Grant Hanley’s valuation as a player. I hold him in a very high esteem. I think he is a very, very good player.

“And I think it’s fair to say, in my own opinion, they are nowhere near the valuation of Grant Hanley.

“I don’t want to lose him.”

Newcastle have spent more than £27m on Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle, Matz Sels and Jesus Gamez in an attempt to win immediate promotion back to the Premier League.

But they remain in the market for a centre-back with Championship experience after Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini left the club.

Hanley has made 200 appearances for Rovers after joining the club from Crewe Alexandra as a teenager as well as winning 23 caps for his country.

The 24-year-old was ruled out of Saturday’s pre-season opener at SV Ried with a knee knock.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Asked whether Hanley, who has two years left on his Rovers deal, has expressed a desire to talk to Newcastle, Coyle said: “It’s nothing to do with expressing a desire because when all is said and done Grant Hanley is a player who is under contract at Blackburn Rovers.

“I know the way the world works when agents get to work and such forth.

“But all I would say is Grant Hanley’s our captain and we don’t want to lose him.

“I totally understand why Newcastle covet him but, as I said before, and I’ll repeat it, in my opinion they are nowhere near the valuation which I consider Grant Hanley to be.”

If Hanley, who has also attracted interest from Hull City, Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County and Fulham, was sold then a proportion of the fee would go to Crewe.

The Railwayman inserted a 10 per cent sell-on clause after the defender moved to Ewood Park when he was 16.

Rovers, meanwhile, will profit from Jack O’Connell’s transfer from Brentford to Sheffield United.

The 22-year-old centre-back, who was also wanted by Fulham, signed for the Blades on Friday.

Rovers will be entitled to 25 per cent of the undisclosed fee after including a sell-on clause in the contract he penned when joining Brentford last February.

Rovers Under-21s, meanwhile, kick-started their pre-season preparations with a 4-0 win at Charnock Richard on Saturday.

Alex Curran, Connor Thomson, Dean Rittenberg and Tre Pemberton got the goals.