Newcastle United are set to unveil Isaac Hayden as their latest summer signing – but the club face a battle to land Grant Hanley.
The versatile 21-year-old has had a medical ahead of a move from Arsenal.
Hayden – who can play in defence and midfield – is on standby to join up with Rafa Benitez and his squad, who are at a pre-season training camp in Ireland.
And the deal is set to be confirmed by the club, which has reportedly had two bids for long-serving Blackburn Rovers defender Hanley rejected.
Newcastle – who have sold striker Papiss Cisse to Chinese club Shandong Luneng – need to replace departed defenders Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor in this summer’s tranfers window.
But Blackburn manager Owen Coyle says he’s determined to keep centre-half Hanley, valued at £5million, at Ewood Park.
“I don’t want to be selling Grant Hanley,” said Coyle. “I’ll say that openly.
“But obviously we can’t stop 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 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.”
Coyle, however, was coy when asked if Hanley, 24, had expressed a desire to talk to United.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Meanwhile, United manager Rafa Benitez took a 26-man squad, including new signings Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Jesus Gamez and Matz Sels, to Ireland on Saturday.
Injured trio Tim Krul, Massadio Haidara and Emmanuel Riviere stayed behind on Tyneside.
However, Rob Elliot, on his way back from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament like Krul, travelled with his team-mates across the Irish Sea.
Newcastle kick off their pre-season campaign with a friendly against Dublin side Bohemian at Dalymount Park on Saturday.
Squad: Aarons, Anita, Armstrong, Colback, Darlow, de Jong, Dummett, Elliot, Gamez, Gayle, Gouffran, Janmaat, Lascelles, Mbabu, Mbemba, Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez, Ritchie, Saivet, Sels, Shelvey, Sterry, Thauvin, Tiote, Wijnaldum, Woolston.