GRANT Hanley is set to seal a £5.5million move to Newcastle United this morning after Blackburn Rovers agreed to sell their captain to the North East giants.

The 24-year-old was the subject of two previous bids by Rafa Benitez’s side, with attempts of £3.5m and £4.5m turned down by Ewood Park chiefs.


But player of the season Hanley is now set to depart for St James Park after a third approach proved successful.

The details of the deal are still being ironed out between the clubs and the player, with Rovers confirming that ‘talks were continuing’ last night.

The fee could rise to nearer the £6m mark, with add-ons set to be included in the final agreement.

The Scotland international is believed to have travelled to Tyneside yesterday and will undergo a medical this morning, with the Magpies and their medical staff on the road at Doncaster for a pre-season friendly last night.

Rovers boss Owen Coyle revealed following Tuesday’s friendly at Rochdale that Newcastle were not the only club to have put in an official bid for the Scotland international, Norwich City understood to be the other party.

But he said that the North East giants had been ‘vigorous’ in their pursuit of the Rovers skipper.

“I always class it, in terms of people saying there’s somebody interested in your player, as on a concrete offer, which Newcastle have made,” said Coyle.

“They’ve not been the only club to make a concrete offer for Grant Hanley.

“Newcastle have been quite persistent, they’ve not went away.

“Sometimes money can dictate a number of things and, to be fair to Newcastle, they’ve been quite vigorous.”

Toon manager Benitez let Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor go following relegation from the Premier League and has been seeking reinforcements for Chancel Mbemba and Jamaal Lascelles.

Hanley is set to sign a five-year contract at St James Park and would become Benitez’s sixth summer signing in the North East as he looks to lead the Magpies back into the Premier League at the first time of asking following their relegation from the top flight in May, He will join goalkeeper Matz Sels, defenders Jesus Gamez and Isaac Hayden, midfielder Matt Ritchie and striker Dwight Gayle in the black and white.

The centre-half, who has two years left on his Rovers contract, has been the source of speculation about his future all summer and was linked with Fulham at the end of last season.

Hanley travelled to Austria with the Rovers squad for their pre-season training camp, but sat out the game against SV Ried with a knee injury and has not featured in the three matches since, including Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Spotland.

He has made 200 appearances at Ewood Park after joining the club as a 16-year-old from Crewe Alexandra.

His departure will leave Rovers the Rovers squad light in defensive options, with Elliott Ward, Shane Duffy and Scott Wharton the only recognised centre-halves, although loanee full-back Stephen Hendrie can also switch inside.