NEWCASTLE UNITED have been warned they will have to move quickly if they want to wrap up a deal for Grant Hanley, with Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday set to table counter-offers for the Blackburn Rovers skipper this week.

The Blackburn hierarchy have already rejected two offers from the Magpies for Hanley – the second was worth £4.5m – but while Rovers boss Owen Coyle continues to publicly insist he does not want to lose the centre-half, privately there is an acceptance that the 24-year-old will almost certainly move on.

Rafael Benitez confirmed Newcastle’s ongoing interest last week, but their failure to strike a deal has enabled a number of other Championship clubs to make their own inquiries.

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Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday have been in touch with Blackburn officials – Fulham are also understood to be interested – and if Benitez is to add Hanley to his new-look Newcastle squad, he cannot afford to wait too much longer before lodging a third bid.

“I don’t think Newcastle are the only club who are admirers of Grant,” said Coyle, after Hanley sat out a three-team tournament in Morecambe yesterday. “I can’t do anything about that. All I can do is pass my football opinion on to the owners. I’ve said that I don’t want to lose Grant Hanley.

“Clubs keep knocking at our door and making offers. Newcastle have made the offers, but a couple of other clubs have intimated they are very interested.

“If those offers come in, we’ll have to look at them as a club, and it will be up to the owners to decide if they’re going to take them. I’ll just control what I control and take it from there.”

Newcastle kicked off their pre-season programme with a resounding 6-0 win over Irish side Bohemian yesterday, with summer signings Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle both scoring on their first appearance for their new club.

Jamaal Lascelles skippered the Magpies in the absence of Fabricio Coloccini, who has returned to his native Argentina, and Moussa Sissoko, who is still on holiday following his involvement in Euro 2016, and there is mounting speculation that the defender will be appointed full-time captain ahead of the start of the new campaign.

Lascelles emerged as a powerful dressing-room figure when he criticised a number of his team-mates in the final months of last season, and has been tasked with the responsibility of overseeing some team-bonding sessions in the last few weeks.

He would be a logical choice of captain, and his appointment would enable Benitez to draw a line under last season’s relegation.

“It was the first game, and he (Lascelles) was on the pitch,” said Benitez. “But we will have to think carefully and choose the right one.

“Do I know who the captain will be? Not yet. We have to keep working hard, and see how they react every day.”

Yesterday’s game saw Daryl Janmaat, Cheick Tiote, Florian Thauvin and Georginio Wijnaldum all feature despite ongoing speculation about their future.

Thauvin has been the subject of discussions with Marseille, who want to re-sign him on a season-long loan, and Lazio, who would like to sign him permanently, but Benitez claims there is still a chance the Frenchman could spend next season on Tyneside.

“I think (he) has to try his best in pre-season, and after, we will decide. It depends on the offers. It depends. We will analyse each case.”

Ritchie opened the scoring in the 15th minute of yesterday’s game, drilling into the top corner from distance after he was teed up by Jamie Sterry.

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored from the spot after he had been fouled by Bohemian goalkeeper Shane Supple, with Gayle hooking home Newcastle’s third goal from close range at the start of the second half.

Thauvin tapped home after a low cross from Rolando Aarons, but while Aarons added a goal of his own shortly after, flicking home after a pass from Ayoze Perez, the winger appeared to tweak a muscle in the process and was substituted.

Wijnaldum scored Newcastle’s final goal with 15 minutes left, racing clear of the defence before slotting home.

Newcastle First Half: Sels, Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Sterry; Saivet, Colback; Ritchie, Gouffran, Aarons; Mitrovic.

Newcastle Second Half: Darlow; Janmaat, Lascelles (Gamez 76), Hayden, Anita (Wijnaldum 70); Shelvey, Saivet (Tiote 76); Thauvin, Gouffran (Perez 49), Aarons (Dummett 60); Gayle.