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Grant Hanley may be Rafa Benitez's first signing

It is poetic that Rafa goes defender considering it has been an area of need for only three years.

Grant is in the red.
Grant is in the red.
Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

It is nice to see reports framed in more concrete language as opposed to revenue click rumor grub. According to BetVictor Newcastle United are 2/1 favorites to sign the Blackburn Rovers defender. He is also being scouted by the likes of Everton, Stoke and our crosstown rivals Sunderland.

According to The Sun Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday are the prohibitive favorites, and sit tightly behind Newcastle in the BetVictor rankings.

Hanley, a center back, is listed as having a £5million price tag.

What makes this potential intriguing is the absence of his name having been part of the rumor mill. Some defenders linked to Newcastle are right back Alvaro Arbelos from Real Madrid and center back Isaac Hayden presently on loan from Arsenal to Hull City.

Grant has been a healthy starter for Blackburn appearing no less than 31 games in a season since the 2012/13 season. He joined Blackburn during the 2009/10 season. At the time Blackburn were a Premier League team. They were relegated after the 2011/12 season.

HIs signing would be consistent with Benitez's desire to bring in proven players with Championship experience. Not seen as a goal scoring threat, though he does have 8 in his career, the Scottish national is known as a defensive root using his size and physical ability to control the back third. If we have to draw a correlation to a known commodity maybe his play is more like a more talented, and younger, Steven Taylor.