Norwich City sign Scotland defender Grant Hanley from Newcastle United
PUBLISHED: 21:50 30 August 2017 | UPDATED: 21:50 30 August 2017
Grant Hanley has completed his move to Norwich City.
The 25-year-old signed a four-year-deal after joining from Premier League Newcastle United for an undisclosed fee, reported in the north-east as £3.5m.
Hanley flew south to complete his switch ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline, after getting permission to leave Scotland’s training camp.
“Being able to come to a massive club and get games is a big motivation for me. It’s a club with high aspirations and a fresh start for me,” he said, speaking to the club’s official site. “As a defender, I’m a bit of an old-fashioned no-nonsense centre-half and you pride yourself on clean sheets.
“We’ve got work to do on the training ground to improve that so I’m looking to hit the ground running.”
The powerful centre half is part of Gordon Strachan’s squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers and is now due to re-join the party, which includes new club mates Russell Martin and Steven Naismith, who head out to Lithuania on Thursday morning.
“I was away with Scotland and spoke to Russell and Steven who had nothing but good things to say. I’m just excited now and can’t wait to get started,” he added. “I’m glad it’s done and the hard work starts now. I’ll be straight back up to Scotland before flying to Lithuania.
“We’ve got a couple of games so that gives me time to get everything sorted. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Hanley was deemed surplus to requirements at the Magpies, with Rafa Benitez needing to offload fringe players to generate funds. The ex-Blackburn stopper only signed a five year deal at St James’ Park in 2016 but made just one League Cup appearance this season and had a bit-part role in Newcastle’s Championship title-winning success.
Hanley joins Christoph Zimmermann and Marcel Franke as central defensive signings this summer at Carrow Road. Sean Raggett was also recruited from Lincoln City but immediately returned to the Imps until at least the New Year.
“When I spoke to him we had really good conversations. I really like his attitude and his desire to come and play for us, as well as the attributes he will add on the pitch,” said Farke. “It was clear to me that while there were some things about the team which are working well, our defensive line needs strengthening. Grant is a quality defender and is not just another option in the defence.
“He has very solid experience of playing many games in the Championship and is a leader too, having been captain of Blackburn Rovers and an important part of the Scottish international side.
“He is a good age at 25. Although he hasn’t been playing too often with Newcastle lately, he has upcoming games with Scotland which will be good for him before he comes to join us later next week. It has been too much of a roller coaster for us defensively so far. With the arrival of Grant, with Timm Klose coming back, and Ivo Pinto back to 100pc fitness we have more options in this important area.”
Hanley is the 14th signing of a hectic summer for the Canaries under the stewardship of sporting director Stuart Webber.