Newcastle close to DOUBLE breakthrough ahead of Ireland training camp

Grant Hanley

Grant Hanley

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Newcastle United hope to make a DOUBLE defensive breakthrough before the team heads to Ireland.

The club is close to securing a deal for Atletico Madrid full-back Jesus Gamez.

And Blackburn Rovers’ Grant Hanley is also a target.

Newcastle are pushing to sign a central defender after the departures of Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor.

Hanley is high up the shortlist of players drawn up by manager Rafa Benitez.

The Gazette reported United’s interest in the 24-year-old last month.

Newcastle have also enquired about Queens Park Rangers’ Steven Caulker – who is available this summer – while Arsenal’s Isaac Hayden and Bristol City’s Aden Flint have also been considered by Benitez.

Benitez, keen to add Championship experience to his squad, takes his players to Ireland next week for a pre-season training camp.

United will take on Bohemian in Dublin on July 16 before returning to Tyneside.

Blackburn are yet to receive a formal bid from Newcastle for £5million-rated Hanley, who is also interesting Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday.

Asked about his future at the end of last season, the Scotland international said: “I love this club and that’s not going to change.

“I’ve been here since I was a young boy and every day I come in and work as hard as I possibly can, and every time I go on that pitch I fight for this club and give everything I’ve got.

“That’ll never change. Unless I’m told otherwise, I’ll continue to give 110% for this club.”

Benitez suggested earlier this week that there were proposed deals for players “ready” to activated.

And the club’s focus this week has been on the need to bring in defensive reinforcements.

Captain Coloccini’s contract was terminated by “mutual consent” earlier this week, while long-serving Taylor turned down the offer of a new deal in June.