Fulham are in pole position to pip Championship rivals Norwich City to the signing of Newcastle centre back Grant Hanley, say Teamtalk this morning.
The Cottagers have a long-standing interest in the Scottish international having narrowly failed to sign the defender when he joined Newcastle from Blackburn last August. The 25 year-old has been deemed surplus to requirements by Rafa Benitez as the Magpies adjust to life in the Premier League – having made 16 appearances when Newcastle won the Championship title – and several Championship sides have been seeking to secure his services.
Slavisa Jokanovic has made no secret of the fact that he is seeking further central defensive reinforcements despite the summer signing of Marcelo Djalo from Spain. Hanley, who played 200 senior games for Blackburn and captained Rovers having come through the ranks at Ewood Park, would provide serious competition for Tim Ream and Tomas Kalas at the heart of the Fulham defence. The Dumfries-born defender has won 27 caps for Scotland, scoring his solitary international goal against Wales at Hampden Park in March 2013, and is in Gordon Strachan’s squad for this week’s crucial World Cup qualifiers.