OWEN Coyle has shot down rumours of a Celtic raid for Shane Duffy after losing captain Grant Hanley to Newcastle.

Hanley’s move to the North East on a five-year deal was confirmed yesterday, with the ‘undisclosed fee’ understood to be worth around the £5.5million mark with possible add-ons.


But Coyle made it clear that there was no cash on the table for Republic of Ireland defender Duffy after rumours that Celtic were keen to add the 24-year-old to their squad before next week’s Champions League qualifier against Astana.

The Hoops have also been linked with Aston Villa winger Scott Sinclair, and assistant-manager Chris Davies said: “It’s a big enough squad so we want to bring players in that can improve the team.

“We know what we want but it’s got to be the right person and the right deal. These things take time.”

But Rovers boss Coyle said: “In regards to Shane, there’s been no concrete offers from Celtic, in terms of a written offer, so that’s the only thing I can class as interest.

“If there’s other people speculating, then I can’t really comment on that.

“I only deal in the facts and the fact is there’s been no concrete offer from Glasgow Celtic for Shane Duffy.”

Hanley’s departure has been on the cards since Newcastle had bids of £3.5m and £4.5m rebuffed earlier this month, with Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith linked with a move to Ewood Park as his replacement.

Coyle, who is also using his contacts to scour the loan market, comfirmed their had been no offers made for any players but he accepted Rovers will continue to be connected with defensive targets.

He added: “We will be linked with centre-backs and I think it’s fair to say we have been looking to strengthen areas of the pitch.

“But I can say that we don’t have an actual firm offer in for anybody.

“We’ve spoke to different people in different areas, still looking to strengthen the squad where we can.

“But there’s nothing in terms of I’ve put a written offer in as we speak for any players.”

Hanley came through the Rovers academy and made his first team debut at the age of 18 in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa.

He went on to make 200 appearances for the club and leaves Ewood Park as the reigning players of the year.

After becoming Magpies manager Rafael Benitez’s eighth summer signing, the 24-year-old said: “I’m over the moon and delighted to be here.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to come and play at such a big club and one that I couldn’t turn down.

“It is an exciting step in my career but it doesn’t stop there. This is just the start and I am looking forward to helping Newcastle get back into the Premier League.”

Benitez added: “I am very pleased to bring Grant Hanley to our project to add his hard work and potential to our squad.

“It was clear that we needed another central defender and we were seeking someone with good experience in the Championship.

“Grant is a young player with a lot of ambition to improve and keep growing with us. He is also a strong defender, fast and with personality, a player that surely will increase competitiveness in his position.”